My Grandmother Maude

She always drank her tea in a china cup
held delicately over the saucer

Told me stories of India and palaces
of hunger and hard work

Bouyant pure white hair, pretty blue eyes
her room was roses and paintings of swans

Her kitchen immaculate, her front step polished red
she worked in a house dress and Marigold Gloves

Still feared the workhouse
although they were long gone

At nineteen, she married a dashing young airman
with bright green eyes and a dazzling smile

Held steadfast as husband, son and
two daughters fought in global war

Loved me, her last grandaughter
raised me until I was four

Left a deep wound at her death
that I still carry buried inside

Copyright © 2023 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Writing this poem has been revelatory, as I nowrealise how much I have buried the loss I felt when Maude died . I was ony nine years old when we lost her to Diabetes.

I have written one other poem about Maude, 1939, which tells of her distress at the onset of World War two.

24 thoughts on “My Grandmother Maude

  1. Grandmas back then really looked like grandmas. They seemed prematurely aged. My grandma had two housedresses, which she alternated. Never forgot the hunger of raising five kids through the Depression. Was the strongest influence on me, and is the reason I made it through my childhood. I resonate so much with your poem, as I see a lot of my grandma in yours. I remember the tea cups and saucers. My grandma would give tea parties, the women all came in hats and white gloves to sit in her tiny front room and play bridge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Grief can last for lives, a trauma passed down by generations … lives cobbled around loss (so sweetly here) pass the seed on to be felt by hearts far away. Those who lived through WW2 carried the trauma of the earlier war and its killing trenches, how feared the second collapse must have been. You’ve honored the wound in love and that makes for a poetry that can heal. I knew my grandmothers so remotely but I felt them through my parents’ wounds.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. what a wonderful soul you describe here, a beautiful tribute. i know how you feel, my grandmother passed away over ten years ago, but i still can’t think about her, it’s as if the wound was inflicted yesterday. very well written

    Liked by 1 person

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