Ghost-memory poem

with thanks to Glenda Funk for the Open Write prompt on Ethical ELA today: “I invite you to think about the ghosts who appear to you and the ways you learn from and celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, those who now visit us in our memories.”

In the Night

When I crawl into bed
to rest my weary bones at last
I have a sense of her

the way she tucked me in
heard my prayers
kissed my forehead 
in successive repetition 
soft as wing-flutters

I hear her voice
when the lights go out
and darkness first envelops:
Don’t worry, Honey
in a minute
your eyes will adjust
you’ll be able to see

and I see her
in the night
a drifting wraith
in her thin pale gown
bathed in silver moonlight
floating into Granddaddy’s room
where I sleep 
on the little cot by his bed
listening to the rhythms of 
his mighty snores

for she always rises
in the darkest part
to check my coverings
sometimes caressing my head
or patting my leg
before drifting back out
to her own room
where snoring 
cannot reach

she is never far
even now
and for all the brightness
she brought to my days
she is near, so near,
in the night.

6 thoughts on “Ghost-memory poem

  1. This so touches my heart, Fran. A mother’s love is so very special (it is your mom and not Grandma, right?) Such wisdom, love, devotion. Blessings they leave with us. And return to our hearts over and over. Such a loving poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually: it’s my grandmother. I should perhaps add another clue in addition to the presence of my grandfather. Grandma was always rather nocturnal, waking and checking on her family while we slept. My dad (her son) would also get up at night to tend to me when I was sick. Not my mother… fodder for more writing perhaps! Many thanks, Janet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fran, what a loving tribute to your grandmother! I love the details about your grandmother tucking you in, hear your prayers, kissed your forehead “soft as wing-flutters.” Also, how your grandmother told you not to worry and then you changed to you seeing her, hearing her, and “she is never far
    even now/and for all the brightness/she brought to my days/she is near, so near, /in the night.” A beautiful poem full of love-her love for you and your love for her. I resonate with your poem because I was very close to my maternal grandmother and grandfather, who I love and still feel them with me, and sometimes I hear them. Thank you for sharing this poem, for the inspiration to write about my grandparents, and for bring back such loving memories. Joy all the way around. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for these meaningful thoughts in response to the poem, Gail. I feel I could write endless poems about my grandparents. I stayed with them often when I was growing up. The scene of Grandma drifting in the night is literal; she was nocturnal, we used to say. She’d waken nearly every night and get up to “peek in” on her sleeping family. Caretaker extraordinaire. Sometimes I’d stay in her room, sometimes in Granddaddy’s – although those snores-!! Mighty is a conservative word. It is why Grandma had her own room, if she was to sleep at all.


  3. Sounds like your grandmother would be a great character in a book! Have you ever thought about putting those poems about your grandparents into a book?
    Maybe a children’s book or maybe a memoir…

    Liked by 1 person

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