How to Remember Your Grandmother

September, 2012

I wrote a poem once at
the tender age of 16 titled
“Remember Them”,
and my english teacher said it made her cry.
Her parents were growing older
and forgetting too.

I think I could do better now,
Remembering how my grandmama
Unerringly navigates downtown Birmingham
when it’s light enough outside for her to see.
I would try to capture
with words the laughter in her eyes
as I jokingly tied a bib around her neck and
one around mine
at our favorite barbecue place,
because I’m making new memories everyday.

I hold photographs up to the walls,
One of her bending over
a 1940 ancestor to the microscopes I use daily,
examining slides with all her Doctor of Pathology dignity,
and one of the two of us
two summers ago when I went home.
I will keep her alive,
both the woman I knew when I was young
and the woman who still goes to the gym
three times a week.

I think that I could do better now,
Remembering Them, and remembering
that my grandmama still does things in style.
I think that I could do better now,
Remembering Them, and remembering
that now will always last.

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