She came up in my freewrite tonight and I'm not surprised she was a wonderful, loving certainty in my life all through my childhood and beyond. She survived her daughter (my mum), her son-in-law (my dad) and her much beloved husband. And she always called me her favourite...this poem is about her unending will.
It has evolved in rewriting as a sonnet, which I think mirrors her strength in its form except I've added an extra 2 lines because she was more than the average! Call me a poetry renegade, if you will.
Encircled in her arms, rice paper skin
pulling tight, taut over strong, hardy bones.
Whist drive on a Sunday, she let me win,
everytime, without fail, no groans, no moans.
Over-feeding my soul with cream cake love -
soothing me, stronger than her will to live.
Her daughter dead, her husband in awe of -
couldn't stay longer, nothing left to give.
But I was still here. I watched her that day;
when they lowered him cold into the ground.
Her face was a mask, remembering him.
But I saw the love that oozed as she prayed -
Saw her almost buckle under the mound
of grief that threatened her with sink or swim.
She swam that day, I believe, for me-
Her favourite grandchild, as strong as the sea.