handsBy Christine Wadsworth

Let me tell you about your grandmother

(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
Your Grandmother.

You can almost hear her now
moving you, almost

guiding you
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.

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