Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter, a Poem

The following poem was written sometime when I was in college, around 1995.  It was for a college poetry class, I believe the subject was to write something about our childhood.  This poem was the result.  To give a little additional background, it was written about, and for, my Grandmother.  When I was 7 years old, in 1982, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.  At the time, the diagnosis was rare even though it is hard to believe that today.  My grandmother was 73 years old.  She passed away about 8 years later, when I was 15.  As you might imagine, this was a difficult time for me, being so young. 

I realize this poem is not Persephone-centric.  However, I wanted to share it here.  Dealing with the loss of a loved one is certainly part of her domain. I imagine that deep in her Queendom, in the coldness of winter, she was listening. 


My cheeks burned as tears froze,
I huddled deep in my snowsuit shell.
The winter hardly comforted then.
She was sick,
I didn't understand.
The sickness had a name,
but I couldn't pronounce it.
They said it was the forgetting disease.
No wonder she couldn't remember my name.
She was my only Grandma.
She wasn't allowed to be sick.

So I left.  The house frightened me.
The snow seemed safe,
But everything just hurt.  I wished
it would all go away.
I could go nowhere. 

From the yard,
in the window, I saw my Mother.
Why couldn't she make it stop?

I saw her, too.  Blue eyes distant.
She didn't know me,
who knew how long it would last.
I had a million questions,
no vocabulary to voice them,
that must be how she felt. 

The winter yielded no hope.
And I stood, seven years old,
watching my Grandmother
through a window.

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