She was the waft of lavender
growing by the front door,
a squirt of lily of the valley,
and the breezy scent of washing day.
She was a little cockney sparrer
greeting everyone by their moniker,
trilling songs from the good old days
as she polished and flicked dust away.
She was the rumble of her shopping trolley
on the broken pavements, an ice lolly
from the tinkling ice cream van,
and a sooty kiss from the coal man.
She was a biscuit with the cuppa
for the fortnightly window cleaner,
carrots and apples for the horses
that drew the carts and old-time hearses.
She was skeins of the softest wool
wound from my hands into a ball –
knitter of cardigans and seamstress rare,
wearer of scarves to cover her hair.
Kim M. Russell, 24th January 2022
Sarah is our host at the dVerse Poets Pub for this Tuesday’s Poetics, where she is serving ’verbs and nouns on tap, images still and sparkling’. She tells us that today is her grandmother’s birthday and, if she were still alive, she’d be 107. It would have been my grandmother’s birthday tomorrow, 25th January, born 1912 and died 1997, she would have been 111.
Sarah says that grandmas come in many shapes and sizes and mine was just like hers, ‘plump and irreverent… a great cook, she laughed a lot, cried at sad films… Nobody ever made pastry as well as her.’
Our challenge is to write about grannies, those older women who support us and nurture us, perhaps spoil us a little, but reserve the right to tell us off. I am a grandmother, and my grandson calls me Nanny as I did mine. I have written a lot about my grandmother and here is another poem in her honour.