My Grandmother

My Grandmother


Knew the sacred nature of her place

A scrap of mountain above Cane River, on Big Creek,

the blue ridge a bowl above the barns

I remember holding a hand-full of her skirt to keep up,

hunting creasy on a February morning

our breath like the smoke of campfires

air uncurling in the tiny valley, snaking

its slow way up the hills

almost visible

Much of my grandmother’s life was like that, almost visible

We walked together

I was proud to be with her, knowing her importance

She pointed out the sacred places

Among the rocks and pathways, under stone and by water

The trees of worth

The shy creatures of air and earth and sky

She let me see they

Meant no harm

Had their own ways

And business to perform

We sat at the top of things

Before the biscuit bag was opened

Together, looking down at her valley

My hand in her lap

Mist rising in prayer-tatters

Above the silver shining river



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