I am taking a poetry class this fall to (re) learn the basics. This class is just what I need at the perfect time; I love when this happens (thank you, Universe)!
This draft of a poem about my grandma Katie grew from an assignment. It will change–or grow–I’m sure, but here it is for now. I’m glad I traveled back in memory to retrieve this [note: both my grandmother and mother are deceased so I have no fear of sharing anything about my childhood].
Things I knew about Grandma Katie
I was your favorite and knew it. Firstborn and wanting
to be a teacher like you, I was to follow in your footsteps
unlike your daughter, adopted in 3rd grade, to this
childless couple. I remember the smell of your old-fashioned
soap when you bathed me at the sink, how loved
I felt. Like a second mother with my real mother busy with
four others. She had to quit college. Back in the ‘50s if you got
pregnant, you had to stop everything and have the kid. That child
was me. And I adored you yet a dark curtain separated me from you
that time my mother told me how, after she was adopted, if she was
bad, you and Grandpa would threaten to “take her back
to the children’s home.” That was beyond mean and, even though
I knew you were stern Germanic, a little girl would be terribly
hurt by that. I was, even once removed.