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To My Grandmother’s Portrait

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 06, 2011

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?”

(1931)



5 Comments »

  1. Beautiful.

    Comment by mahana — September 6, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

  2. that made me cry–that’s how I feel about my soldier grandpa, smiling from under that red hair I hear I inherited from him. can’t wait to meet him someday!

    Comment by anita — September 6, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  3. So much of my tangible inheritance is family photographs. This poet captured something I didn’t realize was shared with others.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 6, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

  4. Love, love, love this.

    Comment by The Other Clark — September 6, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

  5. I, too, have a love affair with my ancestors because of their pictures and stories. I will be keeping this poem with my pictures.

    Comment by Maurine Ward — September 6, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

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