by Georgia Chrisinger
This slate grey house, 3 miles out of town, was never my home
Isnâ€™t grandpaâ€™s home either anymore even if it is his property
And grandma doesnâ€™t much care for the place, judging by the look on her
Face every time grandpa starts up about how he remembers
Every hill, every tree, every story, every crop, everyone here
She remembers the failed fire in the kitchen, lonely long days and the weeds
Grandma and grandpa share a common archnemesis: the weeds
Those pesky, insect-ridden, thorny little bastards who find a home
Nestled in between the perfect crop in perfect rows here
My grandma will find them, trespassing on her property
And rip them from the ground, they both tell me, â€œremember,â€
Gottaâ€™ get the roots.â€ Grandma knew that before, grandpa tries to teach her
If this old house wouldnâ€™t have survived the fire, would have been fine with her
Plucked it out of the land, ripped up from the roots, eliminated forever like a weed
And all these letters, walls, curtains, nails, cigar boxes and socks exist only if you remember
And besides, never was my house and never her home
Itâ€™s been a century since my great-great-great-great-grandpa got this property
Hanging up his Union uniform, cooing to his wife, â€œwelcome home dear, weâ€™re here.â€
0 thoughts on “Union”
I have often thought about the difference between the memories of the genders in our family, a pioneering one. The men’s work while dangerous and backbreakingly hard offered more of sense of achievement… that acre cleared and planted… that wool off to market for the year. My grandmothers was more the gruelling repetitive cooking 5 meals a day (2 ‘smokos’) with limited ingredients, washing without electricity and those weeds and spider webs. No trip to town to the pub and a few days drinking when the cheque came in…
Thanks for this Georgia.
Thanks so much Alison. I’m glad my writing resonated with you. Amelia talks about you fondly.
I like any good poem about grandparents. Well painted.