There is a list of words to use in today’s poem-a-day challenge. They are, pest, crack, ramble, huccup, wince, and festoon.
I wrote a rambling poem that I then deconstructed from a form and turned into a story. The rhymes remain, but perhaps it is easier to read.
My great-grandmother was the foundation of the person I became. I write about her every year, and now was the time.
Grandma glares at me. It is noon, closer to lunchtime than breakfast. “It’s your fault, though, because you gave me the book.”
She glows, her eyes twinkling. “You liked it?”
I nod “It’s so good, I couldn’t put it down!”
“You’re finished, then?” she asks, surprised.
“Oh yes! Are there more?”
She stands with a wince, stature diminished, then straightens with a crack and goes to pour more coffee and tells me to get some food.
She hunts for what she wants in the bookshelves, eager to share a bit of her accrued collection of science fiction. She delves into thick tomes festooned with dust, then pulls a well-worn treasure out with affection. She dusts it off and opens it as she mulls, and hands it to me for my inspection.
“This may be too much. Hmm. What do you think?”
The word Dune is inscribed on the cover. I take the book, open it, now on the brink of a House Atreides ramble, hover for a moment, then dive in wholehearted.
I surface for meals, see her scrutiny. I ask questions as I go, have started puzzling through. She won’t have mutiny, though; I must wait ‘til I’m done with the book.
It takes some time to complete, with long days reading in the apple tree’s shady nook, reading all night in a delighted haze, reading until, at last, the story’s done.
Only then, she allows me to pester her and once the discussion has begun I can ask all the questions that festered unanswered in my clamorous young mind. She relishes all of our discussions and I enjoy the glee that we both find in Atreides/Harkonnen repercussions.
Forty years later, I’m still indebted to the woman who taught me how to think. I’ve never fretted, sweated, regretted, supposed, or doubted that we were in sync. We’d argue, bluster, but we weren’t mad, we wanted to get our points across, see? I could have opinions and not be bad, and strong-minded without being bossy.
When she died, I cried, hiccuped painful tears, still glad she’d taught me to how to be strong. As long as she’s remembered through the years she’ll live inside me all my life long.