Dear Grandma

Dear Grandma,

How are you?
Not much has changed for me,
Except for you.

Your funeral was Saturday.
I wish you could
Have been there.

But I guess it doesn’t work
That way.

So many people sent flowers
And cards.
And you said all your old friends
Had died or moved away.

But so many people came
I guess it was everyone that
Hadn’t died or moved away.

We had to empty your house
Before they can sell it.
All of the grandkids got to choose a memento
Of you.

I picked the little painting
That hangs over the bed
In the guest bedroom.

It’s big with the frame,
(it’s a pretty white frame)
But on it’s own,
It’s very small.

With the big white frame,
It feels big.

The painting is a fence
With flowers
In front of a field
And a stream.

It’s a quiet sort of painting:
A background picture.
I hadn’t really paid it much attention.
Had you?

I’m going to hang it
In my room
On a section of blank wall
Near my window.

And I will sit
On my window seat
And I can look
At this pretty picture,
In its big white frame,
Of the white fence with
Purple flowers climbing up
And the golden field
And sparkling stream
Behind it.

If this painting is of
A real place,
I wish I could go there
And we could have a picnic.

The sun would be warm,
And the grass
Wouldn’t be itchy.

You would be happy
And healthy
You wouldn’t get tired
Walking out to our field.

We would spread out a blanket
With red and white squares.
You always wore you big silver rings
And I only remember your hands
Kind of wrinkly.
But I like them that way.

Out of a basket,
(maybe the basket you kept magazines in
in the living room)
We would pull

Sandwiches with ham and lettuce and tomatoes
And butter and
A big pitcher of lemonade with ice cubes clinking
Against the glass and
Fruit: yellow apples crisp and tart
Oranges that would be juicy and plump
And pineapple.

I know that’s your favorite,
The pineapple.

You cut the pieces just the right size to bite.
And you always pick the best ones
From the store.

This one would be better than the rest though.
It would be as yellow as the sun
And sweet,
But not too sweet.

We would eat all the food
And talk
And laugh.

You could tell me
Stories
About my mom and her siblings
Like you did a few weeks ago.

Or you could tell me
About you,
Like when you were a kid.

Or you could tell me
Anything you wanted
To talk about.
And I would just listen to you
And laugh
With you.

When we finish
Our wonderful picnic
Maybe we can
Wade in the stream.

The bottom is probably sandy
And soft.

We will leave little footprints
Until the water washes them away.

I think there are fish
In our stream.
The little blue and green fish that dart around
Until you stay still.

And then they come up
And nibble your toes.

When our feet are
Raisined from the water
We should eat the
Cookies I made
For us.

They’re chocolate chip,
But they don’t have too many chips,
Because you need to taste the
Dough in between.

Then,
Let’s look at the purple flowers
Climbing the fence.

They are so bright and colorful
And they are strong too
Look how they pull themselves up
Through the fence posts
To smile at the sun
And at us.

I know you love
Happy flowers like these.

Lots of people sent such
Pretty bouquets
To your funeral.

You should have been there.

I like these ones more though.
They are so much more natural.
Not cut and arranged
In a bouquet.

They seem, they are,
More alive.
I guess that’s fitting.

We have some of the
Bouquets on our coffee table
In our living room

They do look very
Pretty when the sun hits them
Just right.

The red and orange ones become fire.
The green and blue, water.

But they can mix together,
In the same pot,
In the same vase.

I know these flowers on the fence
Will die too.
But it’s only spring
And for several months more,
They can smile up at me
And you.

Some people would pick
These flowers.
But they are so pretty and purple
Now.

And if I pick them, cut them,
Kill them,
Their mouths will be in the shape of a grin,
But their eyes will not sparkle and laugh.
And then, they will not really
Smile up at me,
And you.

I miss you, Grandma
Love,

Dear Grandma

Teresa Richards

Joined January 2009

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

An imaginary journey with my grandma through a painting she gave me.

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