My beloved grandmother passed away in 1995; 25th October was her birthday.
I wrote this poem as part of my degree work in 2009 when we were learning about ‘glossing’ – adding a note about the meaning of a foreign or unusual word in the text of a poem.
Gran (‘Medzmama’ or ‘Medz’ for short) lived with us in London for extended periods of time when we were kids. She was gentle, neat and meticulous in her ways. Her whispered Bible readings, prayers and stitch counting often lulled me to sleep.
Made from love and cream silk yarn
(white goes yellow in the sun)
I am a history lesson in
the flickering of a pointed tongue.
Capturing her eyesight’s light,
her whispered count, a stitch in time,
I am the silk web spun to bind
her daughter’s daughter to the maker’s mother’s mother.
On a divan or table top,
I’ll show her status as a wife.
Heavy with hope, gossamer-light,
thread hooked round love and woven tight,
her heartwriting to keep for life.
*Traditionally, an Armenian girl’s dowry or hope chest, often containing handcrafted clothes and household items.