(No, not your mother’s mother, living in Houston)
I’m talking about Grandmothers.
The ones who survived the years of
twilight sleep and childbed fever
The ones who endured famine, poverty, war, and witch hunts
The Grandmothers nobody could kill
because they live in the marrow of your bones,
endlessly renewed with the passing moon.
You’ll hear them someday
Maybe it will be when you sink down deep
below the pain
and move with your body
as it births your baby.
“She makes it look so easy,” they’ll say
“Like having kittens”
But you’ll know
It was your Grandmother telling you what to do.
Or maybe it will be hard for you
so hard your partner leaves
and curses and cries in the hallway
unable to see you go on
while the anesthesiologist hovers by your shoulder
But one person never gives up on you
You can almost hear her now
moving you, almost
And I have to tell you something about your Grandmother
(Maybe she is a little like the one in Houston)
Once you get her talking,
she’s never (I mean never)
going to shut up.