To My Grandmother’s Portrait
By Bee Forsyth
You’re nothing but a picture on the wall.
Yet your young, serious lips and eyes are all
The grandma I have ever had. You know,
Before I came here, you were called to go.
But lots of times when I’m alone, I play
That you, O Lady of a Bygone Day,
Are still alive to wear your long black frock
Of taffeta, that rustles when you walk
And wafts a subtle scent of wild rose leaves –
A scent so delicate it almost grieves –
Dried in a tiny, painted china jar
Grandfather gave you when he went to war –
I’m sure, if you should call some bright spring day,
That I should know you, and I’d smile and say,
“Grandmother dear, why did you leave so soon?
(Yes, isn’t it a lovely afternoon?)
Won’t you sit down? Take off your bonnet, too.
I’m Bessie’s oldest daughter. How are you?”