Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Bloodline

For Grandma... (1919-2012)

There is a thin
blood-red thread
that connects
my Grandmother's
heart
to mine;
a line
of love
unbound
by time,
or life's last breath,
or,
her death.

In the
warp and weft
of our family
tapestry,
what's left 
of her
lives on
through me,
in memories...

The way 
she bathed
me
in two inches 
of luke-warm water,
her daughter's daughter.
Then dried me,
vigorously.

Her love:
hidden in 
a powder puff,
a yellow ball
of fairy dust,
bruskly
coating child-thin skin
from tiny foot to head,
before bed.

Grandma's 
ablutions
were an institution:
A vanity case,
taken from place,
to place,
a silver-backed brush,
lush
lotions and potions
applied to the face...

I asked her once
how
she maintained
her velveteen 
skin,
and she
patted,
and tapped
each
peach-like cheek,
and beneath
her chin.

With a taste for
fine deserts,
cream teas,
and sweet sherry,
Mary
dressed
with the glamour
of a movie star:
Hairdresser
once a week,
and, 
behind this veneer,
she would keep
emotions,
neatly
tucked away,
and, you could say
that she spoke her mind,
but still...

Still
I find
a thin,
blood-red line,
woven through time,
a deep
and loving connection
and affection
for that soft sparkle
in her eyes,
and the light,
that she kept
locked
in a quietly closed box.

And, I believe
that 
when she died
she tied
the keys onto that 
blood-red thread,
and left
them 
to me,
with a story
about how to
unlock
the box,
and set 
the light
free.

Lily Laloba 23/11/12

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