Sunday, May 13, 2012

To Grandmothers, Who Were Mothers Themselves

Canada Goose Family
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

My grandmother was the most beautiful
Woman in Niagara Falls, NY.  I wasn’t
The one who said this.  It was a friend
Of hers who, when I met her, was already
In her 70’s and was incredibly beautiful herself.

My grandmother played the piano
With a sure stride hand, melody loping
Along and a pretty, open voice that owned
Every song and made the afternoon sun
Do little dances in the dining room.

She had four children, half of which were
Twins and half of which were males and
The twins were one of each and as beautiful
As was she.  They won a beautiful baby
Contest in 1920 and she had the photographs
To prove it.  One of them was my mother.

Everyone loved my grandmother.  During
WWII she ran a little snack bar at the beach
On Lake Ontario with her beautiful daughters.
There was dancing and strolling and the boys
Coming and going as they left Fort Niagara
To go to Europe, many of them never returning.

She was Christmas and Easter and the Fourth
Of July and when she died she pushed the nurses
Away as her heart was stopping and made them
Leave her to die as she wished to die.  I was there
In the room with my grandfather and my mother,
Her daughter and her youngest son and she died
In the afternoon, with the afternoon sun
Still doing dances all around her, even there.