We are playing a game of hide-and-seek according to her rules, which means that if she can’t find me in approximately twenty-five seconds, she begins calling “Yoo-hoooo,” expecting me to echo.

She sends me out of a room to count while she stays in to hide. I have to pretend I can’t see her sock-toes at the crack of the closet door. She hides in the same place twice.

On her way to find me (I am sandwiched sideways between the bedroom dresser and the bookcase), she stops to retrieve my old hat which is lying on the trunk at the foot of the bed for a bit of vintage-y atmosphere. She plops it on her head. “Yoo-hoooo!” she calls.

“Yoo-hoooo,” I answer.

She whirls around. “There you are!” she shouts, hopping with glee. Then she regains her composure, asserts her authority: “Now, whoever is LOOKING has to wear this hat.”

“Okay, but first let me take your picture wearing it. You are SO elegant.”

“No.” She bows her head, hiding her beautiful face.

“Oh, please? It would be the best picture.”

She has to tease me a bit, evading the camera. She’s calling the shots. She flops around the edge of the bed, giggling.

Finally she stands and lets me get my shot.

Quick look. Can’t help myself: I crack up. “Ummm…how about I get one more? An even better one?”

“Let me see,” says the little grande dame.

I show her the photo on my phone.

“Nope,” she declares, “it’s a keeper! Now you count and I hide—your turn to wear the hat!” She flings it in my direction and scurries away.

I don my old hat and countevery precious, precocious minute, for the hidden elegance thereunto.

—Is she five or fifteen?

An etheree, for my “elegant” granddaughter:

your own way
in your own play
—let me now preserve
your essence for lighting
the remainder of my days,
hoarding every fleeting moment
in the reliquary of my soul
where dust cannot corrupt the elegance.


The annual Slice of Life Story Challenge with Two Writing Teachers is underway, meaning that I am posting every day in the month of March. This marks my fifth consecutive year and I’m experimenting with an abecedarian approachOn Day 5, I am writing around a word beginning with letter e. Another favorite e-word in this piece: echo. And an etheree seemed to be called for.

Also shared with the Poetry Friday gathering today – thanks to Kathryn for hosting the Roundup.

45 thoughts on “Elegant

  1. Oh, I love this! You capture the wonder of the being that is your granddaughter and the joyful relationship between you. My daughter just reminded me of something from her childhood and it made me yearn for grandchildren. I came from that text to your slice and now the yearning has intensified. I’m delighted that you preserved the moment in this slice, in the photo, in your soul and then shared it with us. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Molly – it’s an absolute joy to play like a child again, especially with this inventive little mind. She’s quite an actress! A light in this world, indeed. I imagine that desire in your heart shall come to pass…


  2. How can it be even more wonderful than to have such a granddaughter, Fran! I love your capture of the memory & that photo – She says, “It’s a keeper.” And you write: “hoarding every fleeting moment”. Exactly!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fran, capturing your granddaughter in such an elegant pose makes your poem so much more engaging. Such a beautiful ending from the heart of an inspired grandmother:
    in the reliquary of my soul
    where dust cannot corrupt the elegance
    Just a quick note to end-I never heard the word reliquary before and the way you used it is powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the word “reliquary” – I first learned of it when I bought a little decorative box crafted by an artist, who included a card about the design. It opened so many metaphors in my mind. Thank you, Carol.


  4. That PHOTO. That expression. That look in her eyes. EVERYTHING here is a keeper. – “where dust cannot corrupt the elegance.” Sigh. yes. I think about those memories and images we wrap and stow away, so that we may protect and remember them as they are. Now that I think about it, I hope I take those memories out often enough, love on them enough, remind them that I still treasure them…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sassy is what comes to mind with that ending shot–but sassy in that confident way. This post reminds me of one of the few parenting tips my mother passed along to me, possibly shared when I was discussing behavior “management” in my classroom–that of giving choice and control, when appropriate, over to children, because they have such little control over so much of their lives. And now you’ve given me fodder yet again for a Slice of my own…thank you, Fran!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is excellent advice from your mother, and let me just say it is ever so much easier to do as a grandmother (or a Franna!). In fact, Scout tells her parents she loves to come stay with my husband and me because of that exact reason: “You give me CHOICES!” Those are her own words. Can’t wait to see what you do with your Slice-!


  6. Seeking your own way in your own play…I’ve never enjoyed play as much as I do with my grands. Blessings of love! That photo is awesome. She was right. It’s a keeper.

    Liked by 1 person

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