Custom Search

Friday, July 10, 2009

HER GRANDMOTHER, Early Morning Refrain, Revised


Early Morning Refrain, Revised

Was not handsome, nor was she particularly wise,
No one ever said she was the smartest,
But she painted well, an artist,
Today her family treasures and enjoys,
Testimony to her ability, landscapes and still lifes,
She applied the oil heavily, used both trowel and brush,
And captured wood and river, and rural architecture
All around her North New Jersey home;
She also painted, remarkably, the wonder of Atlantic
Waves lapping upon her state’s South shore.

And following the common adage,
Different time and place, who knows the fame,
The renown she might have attained?

She dressed the girl in pricey sets,
And every one appreciated it,
“Oh isn’t Elsie wonderful!”

The child was orphaned,
Her Mother was sick, and
Had to stay long time in sanatorium,
Dad was gone,
He ran off and started another family.

Two other girls, her sisters, older, likewise abandoned,
They stayed with paternal father and mother.
And she, the baby girl, was cast off, separate,
She went to her Mother’s Mother and Father

The girl was tall, naturally curly, blonde hair,
And cheek bones high enough to make for real beauty.
Possessing natural, happy disposition,
Her eyes beamed, and when all-dressed-up,
She looked as though,
She might model for children’s fashion magazines.

But Grandma, she had her ways,
(Really, I am told to put it nicely!)
She paid no heed to underwear,
Only interested in outward appearance,
Think on this a moment, for who could see it?

Though it might be tattered and dirty,
And Lord knows should have been replaced,
Especially when one consider the expense,
She cared not the dollar amount of any outfit’s cost.

She favored subtle, flower prints,
Nothing garish; she was master seamstress,
A healthy woman, who loved her cats
(Fed those both inside and outside the house)
And took in every kind of stray, animal and human,
A former dancer who partook of chorus,
Had her training at LUNA PARK,
And, all who knew her swear,
She practiced kicks, over head, when
She had already celebrated birthdays past seventy.

Did she swap a place for her star on the walk,
Take lead role in gilded cage instead?

No way, she was tough and worked hard,
Created a wonderful home and with natural talent,
She made a big garden, a green-thumb delight.

And guess what? To top it off,
She married well, a union man, a good provider,
A leader, he was respected and adored by all.

But something went amiss;
Grandpa went upstairs to bed,
Grandma slathered in wintergreen,
Slept on living-room couch at night,
Hard to believe,
For twenty years they spent their lives that way.

And when Mom from hospital was finally released,
Grandmother balked when time came to return
The girl to whom she had grown accustomed,
The girl she helped to educate and rear.
Pretended the child were her own,
She used every kind, conceivable excuse,
Grandma tied to keep the real daughter away.

And then I heard,
I heard the granddaughter say,
We sat at kitchen table,
It was very late; sun had begun to signal new day.
I heard her wax, granddaughter waxed on the refrain,
Though she said it quiet and was ashamed,
‘I can not wish she were here.’

‘I do not wish she were here today.’

No comments:

Custom Search