Poets’ Corner: Feela For Mother’s Day

According to several blog sites,  72 percent of moms felt more beautiful when they were pregnant. And for Mother’s Day, 1 in 4 moms say they want a trip to the spa. 

And that goes for grandmothers too. Why shouldn’t grandmothers be indulged?

High fashions brands such as Dolce Gabbana and Celine are celebrating Gray Power, featuring grandmothers in their glossy ads. Let’s join that line.

In the run up to Mother’s Day, below poet/author and regular TIO contributor David Feela pays  a poignant tribute to the mother of our mothers, grandma.

Let’s celebrate grandma on Mother’s Day. High fashion designers are celebrating her all year long.

Let’s celebrate grandma on Mother’s Day. High fashion designers are celebrating her all year long.

 

Frayed 

Grandmother hid mothballs upstairs.

I first found them near the bottom

of a steamer trunk, like eggs in a nest

of yellow letters.  Then I found more

at the back of dark drawers filled

with worn lace and linen.  Strange orbs

glistening like eyes brimming with tears.

I didn’t know why she hid them.

Either they were precious jewels

or contraband. How could reticence

be so white, be pushed away so deeply.

Moths must feed on dust,

subsist on heat and light.

When we visited, my fear filled

the little room upstairs where we slept.

She lived below, her teeth left overnight

in a red glass beside the sink.

The tread, she said, was too steep.

At bedtime I climbed carefully

so the moths wouldn’t hear me coming,

feet where the boards wouldn’t squeak.

From bed I surveyed the kitchen below

through an open heating vent

set like a TV screen in the floor,

listening to women’s voices

late into the night.

I was the only man in the house

though at the time I didn’t know

what that meant, why

they expected more out of me.

When mother finally came to bed

I was sound asleep.  She managed

those stairs so quietly I never heard

her coming. Her blankets twisted around her

like a cocoon, so she stayed invisible to me.

I asked Grandmother one morning

while I spooned my shredded wheat

if moths ate skin.

She said she didn’t think so,

then put her teeth in.

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David Feela

David Feela

David Feela, recently retired from a 27-year teaching gig, was a “Colorado Voice” for the Denver Post. He worked for over a decade as a contributing editor and columnist at Inside/Outside Southwest magazine and now contributes occasional pieces to High Country News’s “Writers on the Range”, as well as a monthly piece for the Four Corners Free Press and the Durango Telegraph. David’s first full-length book of poetry, The Home Atlas, was released in 2009 through WordTech. A book of his essays, How Delicate These Arches: Footnotes From the Four Corners (Raven’s Eye Press) is now available.

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