To My Grandmother


I know you’re in a better place.
where anguish and pain
can’t find you.
Your frail arms strong again
Your mind free of dementia,
where your hardest task is
choosing a book over a nap.

I know God must exist,
and he must be a good God
because he gave me the
gift of you. Proof was found
in the way you nurtured me,
my teacher of homespun truths,
my giver of Sunday dinners,
porch swing singalong, and
honeysuckle musings.

Sometimes when my eyes are
starry, I feel the membrane
between our worlds break
and I find you again.
You’ve traveled so far to
be near, galaxies envelopes
us. You faster than the lightest
of lights, so much faster than
death and despair.

In these times I can feel
you living on in me.
Remnants of a childhood of
belonging and grace.
The cosmos and it’s mysteries
of scattered matter and infinite
wonder draws us closer still.
Granddaughter and
Grandmother together again.

-Tosha Michelle

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This and That 

Happy Sunday. I recently took a DNA test from Ancestry.com. These were my results. No big surprises.

And in other news, Tucker making the world brighter 😜

Lastly, some Christmas cheer. I’ll be posting a point dedicated to my grandmother on Wednesday.  Love to all. 💕

Then

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For my Grandfather, Woodrow Hawkins:

Seven years old, I rode
by my Papa in that big
Ford truck. His little June bug.
Jabbering away, too innocent
to notice the light fading away.
Foreshadowing the colder
hours that would settle over our
little house at the foothills of the
mountains. The oppressive chill
of loss, the darkening.

On that day, all I saw was green
with an undertow of adventure.
Happy to be with the first man
my soul ever loved.

Before the heart condition.
Before the heart attack.
Before I mistook the hour.
Before his death.
Before my Granny’s tears.
Before I knew the pain of grief.
Before the road before us
became the road behind us,
and I wasn’t old enough to
understand letting go.
And that everyone’s here
until one day they’re not.

The days of homemade ice cream,
piggyback rides, warm breezes
and my papa’s unconditional love.

When one precious moment merged
into another. Drinking lightness in
the light. Dizzy with lightness.

The gathering of the light as it
fell from the sky.
And thinking there’d still be
time to pour more.

And now I’ve lived long enough
to look back, to reflect;
and yearn for, even beg for,
the before, the sweet bliss
of not knowing what I would
come so desperately to miss.

-Tosha Michelle

Shadows of Death

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The shadow of my dead
grandfather cast itself
in my dreams some
nights.

I see his silhouette
walking down a deserted road.
I follow him for hours. Every
time I quicken my pace to
catch up, he quicken his
faster

There’s always a
ending but never a beginning.
Time refuses to fold back
Translucence wanders endlessly.
Papa’s the light darting through
my eyes.

I wonder if the dead remember?
Maybe in my dream I’m
looking for a clue that they
haven’t forgotten us,
that’s there truly is a spiral staircase to a better place.

Papa keeps moving
The bones stay quiet.
The ash refuses to speak
The moon gives me the dead eye.
What a thing to be so close
but hear no words

The night dissolves.
A squawk of a crow wakes me
My sadness steals the sun.
For now my question
remains unanswered.

-Tosha Michelle

Granny

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I’m snapping green beans
I bought at the store today,
thinking they would remind me
of Granny and sitting
at the kitchen table,
listening to her “well,
when I was your age” stories.

Hoping that just for a moment
I could hug her again,
feel the sureness of her being,
her sweet familiarly.

Go back before dementia
stole her mind,
and cancer her body.
The days of sweet tea,
peppermints, and house dresses.

Granny could solve any problem
with a hickory stick or a stern look.

I miss her, even now years later,
I can’t help but compose
her in a poem- warm hands,
dark hair, sadness
that never left her eyes,
a lifetime of hardships

For a moment I’m ten again,
and Granny gives me her Irish grin.
Something soft but fierce about her.
Finding joy in an orderly
home and things done right.

How solid and healthy
she looks laboring away
over green beans.
Singing her favorite hymn
“In the sweet bye and bye”
Light shimmering through the room.
Real but unreal.

“We shall meet on that
beautiful shore”
Her notes gradually
becoming fainter.
The words descending,
echos from the past.
Love in every syllable.

I listen as evening opens
around me.
Sorrow changes its pitch.
Thee last of the sunlight
streams in the windows.
Swelling, even as it
disappears, even as it waves goodbye.

-Tosha Michelle