My grandmother

Could my grandmother fit in a poem?
I thought of her this morning.
Taking her Murano vase
I set it beside the window.
It catches the light there you see.
It just looked old and boring on the shelf.

My grandmother was like that.
Looked at one way and you’d think one thing.
Looked at from another angle
– you’d see her differently.

A lot of people didn’t like her.
She was a snob and, in old age,
got quite peculiar.
Always travelling by taxi,
no matter how long the distance,
she’d arrive for Sunday lunch
even when not invited.

She was a demanding woman
and liked to command attention
even if it meant sending back a meal
in some fancy restaurant.
Actually, she preferred cream cakes.
When it was just the two of us
she’d take me down to the shops
and buy eclairs, one for each of us.
Always the best ones.
From the finest bakery in town.

Years after she died I discovered,
in some papers shoved into a box,
her Masters degree in English Literature.
She never talked about it
but, when I checked the date,
I saw she’d got it during World War Two.
She would have been in her forties.
I admire her for that.

Looking at the sun lighting up her vase
I resolve to buy some flowers for it,
next time I go to town.


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