Grandmother Power

This Sunday, May 12th is Mother’s Day (USA). My mother, Ms. Irene, passed 21 years ago. Her mother, Arlena Hinson, has been gone 45 years. This post is part of  Grandmother Power Blogging week. I was pulled in by my friend Paola Gianturco, author/photographer who has documented the lives of women in 55 countries, and published five books including the stunning, inspiring, Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon.  I decided to share this poem remembering our maternal grandmother written in the 80s by my late sister, Betty:

FOR ARLENA
by Betty J. Jones

Grandma told me stories that
would make your hair curl—
some more—and your blood
curdle like good unpasteurized
country buttermilk,
chilled in the ice box in a
porcelain pitcher.

Grandma wore a paper hat,
all star tennis shoes and
a long dress with a long
apron that fit over head
and tied in the back—she
made the dress and apron and hat
and Ma bought the tennis shoes.

Grandma had long hair that was coarse
and silver grey and you only got
to see it on rare occasions when off
came the paper hat and the cloth
that wrapped the braids and she
washed and combed it and quickly
put it back like it was.

Grandma walked sometimes with a stick
but all the time with definition and
direction and all the things Fred says
go into the making of a good character.
And she was a character, Grandma was,
but mostly she was a large woman in
stature and state of mind—
with so much to give.

Grandma loved and lived and let me know
that all was never lost
unless I willed it so.
And when she died at 87—
she never died
for I remember her then
and still see her now and
she lives in all she knew
and touched
and in this.

Arlena on Porch-1