Friday, 2 September 2011

Conversation With Grandma

She tells me Mark is coming over. He’s my gardener. He’s deaf and dumb. 

I look at her as if she might be talking about me. 

Well, he lip reads and responds to everything with his thumbs up. He can laugh though, he laughs all the time. I’m quite fond of him. Anyway, he’s coming to dig a grave for Hollie in the garden. She was put down this morning; she had a good life. Have you ever dug a grave? Hard work that. Makes you really respect gravediggers. 

I never feel like a poet around Grandma, I rarely know what to say. 

I can’t lie, I’ve been crying all night. I’m going to miss Hollie. Hope I don’t get too many lonely moments without her. I ate chicken earlier and couldn’t help but feel strange to be mourning Hollie while eating a dead animal. You get to be old as me and life still surprises you. I hope when I get to heaven I get my young body back. See that picture of me on the mantelpiece? That’s me at 22. I was in love with a man called Keith. He was so handsome, taller than you. Always wore grey jackets and trimmed his moustache. I’d say kissing a man without a moustache is like eating a boiled egg without salt. He took that photo, I’m smiling because he asked me a naughty question, I shan’t repeat it. You don’t appreciate beauty when you’ve got it. You shouldn’t put so much pride into things that fade. Life is full of sad things and happy things. The sad things are important; they give you compassion, which in the end gives you more to be happy about. Everyone I went to school with is dead. I’m at the age where every day is a bonus. You get those phone calls, oh’ Mavis died, oh’ Elizabeth died and you just sit there with your life behind you. I believe in a spirit world though, a place for the good and a place for the bad. I can’t see Hitler’s spirit in the same place as my friends. Then again, if Germany wasn’t on the brink of starvation after the First World War it wouldn’t have bred such evil. That’s just my opinion though. How’s your poetry going? 

I tell her it’s ok

Don’t you find the more you talk to people the more you realise how important words are? I used to be part of an organisation called Talking Books. We’d read books to blind people. Each book took a while to read out loud but it did so much for them. One man I read to told me, when you live in the dark your only light is a good story. Are you hungry? 

I tell her I am. 

Do you want to finish the chicken? 

I say I’m ok, thanks.


  1. lovely story. She has a way with words your grandma. Seems like it's in the genes even if you don't feel like a poet when you're around her.

  2. I loved this at the Chill Pill last night! x