Lace and Yellow Roses

It has been six months since my grandmother’s passing.  Sometimes things like art grow still inside a grieving heart.  Perhaps I’m ready to write again. Time will tell.

She was singing a year ago,

Thanksgiving in our kitchen,

Which is why I remember it.

Now I watch, through the narrow slit of a newly painted white doorway

Listen for her rattled breath behind the door.

Mother, I say into the phone, you need to come back home.

While we wait for her, the mother / the daughter, I sing

Ease her into sleep—

Lyrics fall through translucent skin

They land upon the mattress underneath her.

I’m not ready—

I say these words out loud I speak them like a prayer over her white nightgown—

Everything in here is white

Except her lips are turning blue.

She could be anybody’s grandmother

But she is mine

I’m not ready.

Do you know who I am?

She is already too far away.

I should tell her it’s okay to let go

I should seal her lips with mine and say goodbye

Instead I seal her lips with mine and breath to keep her living.

My fingers run the hem of her nightgown

Lace and yellow roses,

Her breath moves through the bedroom like a bird

I cannot catch it.

Instead, I fill a teacup with white wine

And light a cigarette.

Instead, I get in bed with her, the living and the dead;

I draw out the last love from her skin

Before decay.

I get in bed with her,

Place a few words on the nape of her neck

And cover them with hair

So no one else can find them.

We save her for the next day

Light a candle for the smell—

Her skin like marble

Lips like sapphire

I’d like to bury her with crystals in the yard.

Instead, I gather herbs and place them in her hands

Ask her if I might keep the pyrex in the kitchen.

43 thoughts on “Lace and Yellow Roses

      1. I read alot of people greiving , remembering, holding onto precious memories. My mother was a single parent and raised 3 kids . She was from a family of 14 so through the years there were many tears till eyes got dry, then the service ontop of that. I deal with death now in my own way and remember all that was good.


  1. So sorry for your loss. I’m sure your grandmother would be proud of you for working through your grief and sharing these tidbits with the world. As you can see from the other comments, you’re not alone at all.

    Thank you for following The Write Edge. I hope you find the posts interesting and informative. All the best to you on your writing and healing journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Lace and Yellow Roses – rating alhssady

  3. This is beautiful Shayleene and such a testiment to your love of your grandmother. I’m so sorry for your loss! This was a very dejavu story for me with a dear friend/ client and my mother in law.
    It truly is a treasure and so difficult to say goodbye. I love your last line.
    Thanks for the follow.. it’s lovely to meet you. ❤️🙏 Cindy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Al Barz

    You are one of those who walk among us that carry significance in words that others could not dare to reach for, and I love that power of emotion above all. This is a power that wrenches tears from those who have hid it and cannot hide it when they read your words, defying the heat, like the Pyrex in the kitchen that means so much more than Pyrex in the kitchen.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t think we are ever ready to say good-bye to our grandmas. But when I miss mine I remember one day I will see her again – whole and happy. You use words beautifully. And I do want to thank you for choosing to follow my blog. May it bring you hope and encouragement.

    Liked by 2 people

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