Alethia, Berkley 1940

Eyes wired red
from searching for nits
on the heads of eight kids,
my grandmother sits alone
in the kitchen
on a new cane chair
bought used with money from
Navy boarders.

Her head cocked,
an ear toward heaven,
she listens
for cries from babies
too grown to suckle
breasts long dry,
so tired they rest
atop her belly.

In her lap
her hands are clasped,
red and swollen,
from packing pickles,
washing the linens
of strangers,
fingers too rough for
rings, tender touch.

With knees pressed.
ankles crossed and
ten toes touching
perhaps she dreams
as she sits
the way she told me
a lady should.


4 thoughts on “Alethia, Berkley 1940

  1. cjv750

    That was so beautiful. Very visual, I could clearly see her in my mind and understand your description as if I felt every word. Thank you so much for sharing these heartfelt words.
    I hope writing your words help you feel as at peace as it does me. Have a wonderful week.

    1. Terry Perrel Post author

      Thanks for your kind words and wishes.
      Peace? I feel emotion whenever I write, often humor, other times passion, angst, or sadness. My mood is usually dictated by what I write about and my perspective. Not so different from spoken words.
      I usually find peace in silence which is rare in this house of barking dogs. I’d like to hear more about how you find peace in writing.

    1. Terry Perrel Post author

      I’m so glad, Delinda. Thank you for taking time to read this. My grandmother was a key figure in my young life, and her words continue to guide me these many years later.


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