My grandmother Alice was born in Zurich, Switzerland, and nearly lived to be a 101 years old. I wrote the poem below when we were celebrating her 100th birthday. It was the first time someone in our family had lived this long.
I am writing on the page
with your rings on my fingers,
remembering how they sparkled
when you told stories with your hands.
Stories of your travels,
that taxi ride in Jordan,
when you were thrown out in the desert,
hands landing in the sand.
Today you are so frail,
a whisper of a fighter,
when you hold my hand
you become the child I used to be.
We toast your hundredth birthday,
my hands arrange the flowers.
‘Next time I’ll get this many,
it will be my funeral,’ you say.
With one squeeze of your hand
you abseil down our web,
dropping the cord still further.
ready to be free.
With one last wave we say goodbye
and in my heart I am with you,
I hope you will find those places
you never got round to see.
© Xenia Tran
This poem appears in
In 2022, we were delighted to learn that Chiaroscuro – Darkness and Light, is going to the moon. It is one of the poetry anthologies selected by Dr Samuel Peralta to be enclosed in time capsules and launched to the Moon, as a message-in-a-bottle to the future.
The Anthology will be part of The Polaris Collection, Dr Peralta’s payload associated with an Astrobotic Griffin/NASA VIPER mission, landing in the vicinity of the Lunar South Pole in November 2024.
The photograph was taken by my great-grandfather when my grandmother was approximately ten years old.
With love from Xenia xxx
Daily Prompt: Generation
dVerse Poets Pub: Poetics – First Things First
Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week Challenge: Grandparents