Thursday, July 20, 2017

My grandmother's latest poem

My grandmother (who is in her late 90's) writes poetry and has been published in magazines and elsewhere.

Her latest poem got shared around by family, and it's beautiful. Evocative. Heart-breaking. Joyful.

She gave me permission to share it with you here.


I’m saying goodbye to my body,
long ago disdained
for size of breasts, shape of legs,
now nudging me downhill all the way.
I’m saying goodbye to my body,
ancient collaborator with
the smell of new-cut grass,
the thrust of arm throwing a ball,
the velvet feel of East New York’s slates
under my speeding roller skates,
the taste of June’s wild strawberries,
the pull of dancing à la Isadora, à la Martha,
the glory of May Day marching,
the sight of Jenny Lake in the Tetons,
of broom in bloom in the Luberon,
the sweet oasis of Shabbos,
the pride of menstrual flow,
the head-loosening orgasms,
the glow of babies suckling, the mindful heat of Emily’s poems,
the hug of Sons and Lovers,
the startle of “Sunflowers” hanging in a school,
the wake-up of Mozart’s G-Minor,
the movies subtitled, French and Soviet,
most of all, words, words, words,
jousting among us until 2 o’clock in the morning.
I’m saying goodbye to my body and
its first-time joys,
now recycled into memory.
I’m saying goodbye and thank you.

©Ruth Dropkin
June 2017


jo(e) said...

Oh, that's beautiful.

Liz said...

Thanks, jo(e)!