Mother’s Day is a Celebration of Life

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My grandmother, Ruth, on my father’s side, died before I was born. I never knew her. I’m told she lived in Los Angeles for some time; perhaps that is why I feel so at home here. When I arrived here so many years ago, I felt like I was coming home.

My grandmother, Mary, aka Amelia, passed less than a year ago. A week after she passed, I received the notification from Pilcrow & Dagger they were publishing the poem I’d written years before, inspired by her visit to L.A.  My grandmother used to write poetry – she left me her book of poems; it is a treasure!

My mother lives in Ohio.  She made the best cookies – still does!  Mom – send me some! J

Then there’s me –  Not to be cliché, but my life started when I had my daughters. It’s when I got serious about life, when I formed real ideas about priorities, when I started thinking of people other than myself.

 

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My girls and myself

 

 

Grandma’s Tour

 

 

It’s Christmas day.

She wants to see where she thinks

Marilyn’s body lies.

She doesn’t understand the tomb in a wall,

a name on a plaque.

She wants to touch the same dirt

Marilyn’s body touches.

 

 

I show her Jack Lemmon’s

“In” –

She wants to see the thirteen year old

from Poltergeist.

Another plaque on the wall.

 

 

Grandma is flustered,

she doesn’t want to be encased in eye-level marble,

an uncertain burial, she wants to rot

in the dirt, she says,

the natural way.

 

 

It’s Christmas day and my daughters

want to know why we’re at a graveyard.

My little one is writing down names

and dates,

an attempt to, once again, give the long dead

significance.

The older one won’t come close

She uneases herself along the edges of

the grass, the crypts,

the fresh dirt.

Unwilling to let the dead touch.

She’s taken an impromptu dislike to grandma

 

 

who is weeping.

It’s Christmas day and she expected

the movie stars to rot in the dirt,

like she will, she says,

but even in death, they are distinct.

 

About Noreen Lace

Originally from the Midwest, Noreen Lace received an MFA from California State University where she now teaches. She believes in the beauty of language to express the darkness in life. She is the author of two novellas, West End and Life of Clouds, as well as a book of short stories. Here in the Silence. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in national as well as international journals, including The Chicago Tribune's Printers Row Journal, The Oleander Review, Vine Leaves Press (Australia), Silver Stream Journal (Ireland), Pilcrow and Dagger, Fishfood, and others. "Memorial Day Death Watch," a memoir of her father's passing, placed as a finalist in Writer Advice, while her poem, "All at Once," was published as a finalist in Medusa's Laugh Contest issue. More work is always in progress.
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