Who Chose Passion Over Security

Grandmothers

She had Grandmothers
Who tried to forget.

She had Grandmothers
Who longed to remember.

She had Grandmothers
Who shipped their infant
in a shoebox
To a childless sister in Sanpete County
With a note:
“Sorry to trouble you, but he don’t want kids right now.”

She had Grandmothers
Who were desperate from betrayal and
Killed themselves by diving

Head-first into a rain barrel
After carefully placing their glasses
On a clean hankie.

She had Grandmothers
Who left the pots and pans
To ‘soak’ under the lilac bush.

She had Grandmothers
Who took early retirement,
Who chose passion over security,
To make time for an affair
With a childhood sweetheart.

She had Grandmothers
Who joyfully greeted the dawn.

She had Grandmothers
Who braced themselves for the day
With valium, coffee and TV news.

She had Grandmothers
Who were uprooted by their grown children
And moved to an old

Barrack on the edge
Of a windswept nowhere
Where she spent twenty years
Sipping Black Jack Daniels and
Reading condensed editions of books.

She had Grandmothers
Who loved other women openly
And with devotion and she had

Grandmothers who did not speak,
Even to their daughters,
Of their love of women.

She had Grandmothers
With ample pensions who moved
To a retirement village
Where a dark haired young woman reminded her
To take her pills
And where someone came twice a month
To clean the wall of mirrors
That made her room look bigger

She had Grandmothers
Who loved the smell of babies and bacon,
And of coffee, oranges at Christmas,
Wet horses in the rain, and men.

She had Grandmothers
Who trailed the scent
Of rosewater, whiskey, and coal oil.

She had Grandmothers
Who reeked of smoke and patchouli.

She had Grandmothers
Who were beaten, berated, and betrayed
By their daughters.
She had Grandmothers
Who were raped by their sons-in-law.
She had Grandmothers
Who seduced their sons and their nephews.

She had Grandmothers who read out loud
And who sat on the stoop and taught the children,
Even the boys,
How to thread strings of lilac.
She had Grandmothers
Whose grief and pain was bottomless.

She had Grandmothers
Whose laugh was contagious.

She had Grandmothers
Who left Sweden, who left Scotland, who left Wales.

She had Grandmothers who were born, lived
And died in one time zone.

She had Grandmothers
Whose brains and blood were splattered
In the snow and on car windshields
In the supermarket parking lot
On the day her husband
Was served the restraining order
And came and shot her in the head.

She had Grandmothers who packed imaginary bags
To take imaginary trips to visit people
Who had died 40 years ago.

She had Grandmothers who were vegetarian.
She had Grandmothers who were Unitarian.
She had Grandmothers
Who slowly drank warm water for their constitution
And she had Grandmothers
Who snorted cocaine.

She had Grandmothers who played cards
With the same group of women
Once a month for thirty years
Who called themselves the “humbugs”
Who didn’t know that they were a “moon lodge”
And never once called into the four directions.

She had Grandmothers
Who tried to forget.

She had Grandmothers
Who tried to remember.

She had Grandmothers who said
We would be better off not knowing.

She had Grandmothers
Who whispered lies.

Julien Puzey
Spring Eqinox 1998

On this day we honor our Mothers, I share this favorite poem by Julien Puzey.  I chose the Argentine Giant Cacti during flowering for the accompanying  photos as this delicate bloomed but tough, resilient, often prickly cacti reminds me of the Mothers , Daughters, Sisters, Grandmothers, Nieces, Cousins, and Aunts within my own family. For generations, a fair bunch of rascally women if ever there has been one. Proud of, Grateful to Each and Every One. Happy Mothers Day!

 

 News/Music: Lady Madonna- Beatles

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