I come from Western pioneer people and years ago, in the 1980's my great grandmother died at age 106, Jenny. I never was around her without my grandmother, Irene, who lost her mother when she was in her 80's. But shortly after the loss of my great grandmother I wrote this poem. I thought I would share it:
Jenny and Irene
Mama combed me out of dreams
And, like gravity,
Held me through a life of lessons
She could not shoo away.
She spelled out time in birth and work,
Twisting the pine rope into trees,
Circling the twilight with cool rivers
Of rainbow trout.
Mama kept her straw-hat straight.
Shook cotton-prints on the snow
With steady words of spring.
And despite this winter that covers deep
The places where we soothed
The tangled sisters of our arms,
Her promises to me still keep.
In the windy bonnet of the sorrel sun,
The sage and salt and campfires,
In the roseate canyon
Oh, she was, too.
And so was I.