Litkicks Message Board Archive

august 28, 1914

Posted to Action Poetry

you turn eighty eight
this year and i realize
i don't know anything about you
you tiny woman
who laughs with lola
and buys millions of unnecessary items
just because they were on sale
and reminds me to pray
and tells me stories about when i was little
and teaches me about flowers
and drives too slow and too fast but never just right
and drowns japanese beetles in jars
you live in a green house
and drive a blue car
and worry too much
and say you're not worried
you are my grandmother
you turn eighty eight this year
and i don't know anything
so what did it feel like to pick cotton?
what did grandpa sound like when he sang?
what time was my mother born?
whatever happened to that preacher who was going to marry you?
tell me everything
about you
tell me about the dresses you made
and the things you thought
what the trees looked like
on your daddy's homestead
tell me about sharecropping
about poverty
about beans and cornbread
and who sang what part
tell me about the time my uncle swallowed a quarter
and sunday afternoons with all the family
about my mother burning off her eyebrows
tell me everything
give me my past
give me who i am
give me...
because your birthday is
august 28 1914
and you turn eighty eight this year
and i don't know anything
and you've started talking about what happens
when you're not around anymore
and i need more than i have
and you're the only one
who can give me some truth