granddaughter (Photo credit: anothernamedrose)
Runs in the Family
An appliqued red apple in the corner
of the scarf caught my eye.
The scarf covered the scratched
walnut finish of the pie-cooler that
was Grandma Lizzie’s hand-me-down
from her mother. The apple looked
good enough to eat.
“How do you write poetry?” Grandma
asked, the spring I visited her in the Ozarks
when dogwood blossoms appeared
like snow across the hillside.
“Oh,” I began, wondering how
serious she was. “I start with a word,
or phrase maybe–” I stammered.
“Then I persist until something
clicks and sentences tumble out, as
though they’ve broken free from a
locked cell. They land on the page–”
“As gently as the baby quail
you found?” she asked.
The baby quail! Orphaned, it had
come running to me, hungry and thirsty.
I gave it too much water, and it died.
“Yes, Grandma. Like the baby quail.”
itty bitty baby quail (Photo credit: cskk)
Poems, too, need the right amount of words,
or they die.
“But tell me, Grandma, how did you make
the apple look so real?”
© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols