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A Rediscovered Attempt at Poetry

March 21, 2013



She looks so strong;

still black hair tightly braided

bundled uncle on her back

stern confidence in black and white.


She looks so wise;

truths by firelight revealed

ageless wisdom of the elder

questions answered in fading eyes.


She looks so frail;

now grayed hair by others brushed

uncle’s passing on her face

passion displaced by cheerless faith.


She looks so unsure;

gospel burdens discharge the day

ancient stories for curious ears

realities hidden in weakness’ name.


She is so beautiful;

calloused touch to quell all doubts

practiced love to steer the soul

yellowed portrait of magnificent life.

                                              — College Station, Texas, 1991


I came across the above tonight while shuffling through some old files.  It was my first and only attempt ever to write a poem.  It was crafted one afternoon in my graduate student office in the economics department at Texas A&M University shortly after learning that my wife’s uncle, the youngest son of my very special grandmother-in-law, had passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack while working at a mine in central Peru.  I can’t recall much about my mindset at the time but I imagine I was thinking about the wonderfulness of grandmothers and the sadness of seeing them suffer.

I note with some dismay that my creative tendencies back then appear to have leaned strongly toward sentimental pap, much as they regrettably still do today.  I’ve clearly got to put together that post I have been meaning to do on the glories of satanic rock post haste.

In the meantime, it’s the thought that counts and, with that in mind, the spirit of this post goes out to my four beautiful grandmothers, all of whom bore the pain of the untimely loss of their baby boys:

– Grandma Madge, who lost youngest son Val, aged 23, to a road accident in 1982.

– Grandma Z, who lost youngest son Bob, aged 45, to a diving accident in 1989.

– Abuelita Tani, who lost youngest son Pancho, aged 40, to a heart attack in 1991.

– Grandma Ardelle, who lost youngest son Terry, aged 45, to a heart attack in 1992.


From → Family

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