Thursday, June 2, 2016


A wise owl lived inside
my grandmother,
looking out through her round-rimmed glasses.
When she looked at me,
I thought she could see all my transgressions,
laid bare, like God could.

Her words carried weight
because they came from wisdom, and love.
She wanted me to be
better than I had much hope of being,
in those days,
when home was not safe,
and my spirit shriveled.

Mostly, she saved my life,
by showing me that life could be
peaceful, and ordered, and calm.
Her little cottage was so quiet,
you could hear the clock 
on the kitchen windowsill
ticking all over the house,
like a heartbeat,
steady and true.
In those days,
she was my North Star.

She was infinitely kind,
and raised all of us grandkids, one by one,
telling us of a mythical little girl
called Vivian, who would never do
the kinds of naughty things we did, 
never in a million years.
We all hated Vivian,
prim and proper
and impossibly good.

She told us stories of ghosts and goblins,
and showed us blue fairies dancing in the flames
of the gas fireplace on winter afternoons.
She believed in us, until we grew old enough
to believe in ourselves.

She showed me the kind of peaceful life
I wanted for myself,
and tried to create,
once I had left childhood behind
and made homes of my own.

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif:  significant adults in a child's life. For me, that was my Grandma.


  1. I adore this, Sherry. Really beautiful.

  2. Sherry, when I look at the photo of your grandmother I am struck by how much you physically resemble her. I do get the sense that she was your beacon as you grew up, the one you could always turn to. I like the way you expressed the way she had faith in you. She was a wonderful role model for a young girl to have. All children should know such a grandma!!

  3. Shes such a gorgeous lady Sherry :D a most beautiful tribute.

    Lots of love,

  4. I see your eyes in hers, Sherry. How fortunate that you had such a wise and loving Grandma who held a safe space for you. I love your poem.

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  6. Mostly she saved my life - so full of grace - home is feeling safe that comes inside after others have taught us or perhaps we allow ourselves to be taught and make a home for ourselves..either way God bless your grandmother...your beautiful, shining North Star...and darn Vivian!

  7. Oh, I loved this brightest 'North Star', Sherry.
    What a sweet and loving tribute to your grandmother. (I was also very close to mine). I’m sure your granny is looking down on this poem and beaming with pride. Great job on the poem!

  8. Oh, Vivian! Wasn't she in that Saki story called "The Storyteller?" (That little girl was eaten by a wolf!) Your grandmother seems a north star indeed. How happy that you had her.

  9. Your Gran has such a beautiful open face. I see her softness in you. Beautiful tribute.

  10. In many ways, my oma was just like your grandma, Sherry, as she made sure, she was involved, in all of our lives. Can still see my oma, with her wide smile, of pride, as I was awarded my school's grade 8 history award, 31 years ago. Thank you, for bringing back, that forgotten memory, Sherry.

  11. Believed in us until we grew old enough to believe in ourselves... that's exactly how it should be..perfect!

  12. This so unbelievably beautiful Sherry. My grandmothers were great but not that good!

  13. aw, she was an angel Sherry, so fortunate you are to have her in your life...and i think all grandparents and parents have that secret Vivian in their heart to bring them out when the situations demanded...i could so relate...

  14. Thank God for grandmothers who loved us and nurtured us til we fledged.
    Lovely tribute to a dear lady.

  15. This is so wonderful... especially teaching to believe in yourselves... The most important lesson for a kid...

  16. GrandMothers are such a blessing...I loved mine!

  17. Golden memories! Both my grandmothers were wise and kind. :)

  18. Some wise and tender lines in this. I especially connected with "She believed in us, until we grew old enough to believe in ourselves" - what a gift! Such a lovely piece that echoes one of your signature themes: treasuring the joy of constancy, in the good things of this earth. Wonderful, Sherry.

  19. I learned early on the value of a Grandmotherly wisdom. Nice piece.

  20. Ah/- sweet sad. Was her name Vivian? Or was that her own mother? Lovely, sherry.


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