A POEM! My grandma was one of the strongest women I've ever known and also one of the scariest. And also one of the smartest. And I can remember doing jazzercise with her after school but I can barely remember her voice...
"When I was eight my Grandma moved into my house and took over my room and she would also always make me do my homework before watching TV and she always told me to stand up straight and to never depend on some guy for money and then she told me that one day I would wish I listened to her more and that my hair was dry and frizzy - so I started referring to her as the meanest Grandma ever" or A poem for my Saw Saw
She keeps secrets like a stone wall – forever standing – chipped away only by wind and rain or the heartless stomping feet of men to battle. And she says “you cannot break me” and she sings “we will not break.” And she mumbles loudly and sighs discretely and I roll my eyes and stare into the lights of the television.
What if one day she were to die, just go to sleep and never wake up.
What if she went walking into the street and some careless, empty college student slammed into her with his car and she went flying through the air and landed at my feet with a soft, muffled thud. (You would wish you paid more attention, that you learned to listen, that's what.)
Who else (but me) would dare to think “Grandma, I am not that lucky.”
You will live a long, stone life, chipped away only by wind and rain
because even the stomping of heartless men has never broken you.
Cutcha Risling Baldy is an Associate Professor and Department Chair of Native American Studies at Humboldt State University. She received her PhD in Native American Studies from the University of California, Davis. She is also a writer, mother, volunteer Executive Director for the Native Women's Collective and is currently re-watching My Name is Earl...
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