family / Memoir / Poetry / Uncategorized


Lola was not 5 foot tall

but she stood above

everyone else I’ve met

in this life

Her parents, born in Florida

grew up in the

mists, marshes and muckiness

of the Everglades

Hot and dripping

that excrucible wet heat

summers you’d remember, alright

Her grandmother Mary

looking for berries

in the woods

stepped on a log

that became an alligator

Mary’s brother, quick with

a hefty branch

saved her from death

but not the life-long limp

Florida people

left the saltly wetlands

went west to Texas

in search of new life

and new land to farm

My grandmother was

the second of 14 kids

born in 1900

started washing dishes early

learned to cook

the southern way

Sat in the 3rd pew

of the 1st Baptist Church on Sundays

quoted scripture

judged no one

loved everyone

respected her own

malicious mother

sat backseat to all her sisters

took what was leftover

cherished her father’s love

forgave her hateful mother

reminded me to always

respect mine

gave what she had

all she could afford

to help those

who needed so much more

Married a man

she didn’t love

to care for his kids

then there was more kids

all needing her

Witnessed happiness and heartbreak

unfold all throughout the

20th century, 100 years old

watched death pass her

as it took a son and grandchildren

watched children grow up and leave

Second marriage when she was 80 years old

loved a dog named Spot

fed him ice cream

When she could no longer

traverse her own kitchen

to make dinner rools

the size of saucers

and wash all those dishes

Sunday dinners fell to the side

nobody understands anymore

the meaning of a family

Sunday after church

pot roast, mashed potatoes,

blackeye peas, chocolate cake

all done right

Her days became longer

sitting on her sofa

looking out that front window

waiting for that eventual sunset

stirring her memories around

like a fruit pie filling

mixing the sour berries

in with the sweet

Lola bridge one


18 thoughts on “Lola

  1. I got to crying, really more than tears, Lana. Your grandmother was such a sweet, almost like Cinderella, in her giving, cleaning and taking care of someone else’s children. I like the size her delicious rolls! 🙂 Hope she found happy moments in amidst a lot of hard times. I am glad her father made up for her mean mother! This was a great portrait of a saintly woman, Lana. ♡

    • Thanks Robin, my grandmother and I were pretty tight, and although she did have some bad times, she had some good ones too. Her father really was great and her mother was truly unreal. I have some other stories on her mother… I lost this grandmother when I was forty, and it was really tough as I had her all my life at that point, she was very special to me. I write about both my grandmothers quite a bit, maybe even too much 🙂

      • There are no rules about how many times you focus on someone. You may be on the path to a memoir or historical tribute to your grandmother. She was definitely a blessing in your life and your love and admiration for her must have lifted her spirits, too. Lana, I was close to my grandfather and loved both my grandma’s. I wish I had so much time as you were able to have with your grandmother. 🙂

      • I was lucky with her living so long, I sure miss talking to her, I guess I always will. My other grandmother was also a huge blessing in my life, she passed away when I was 10. This was also very difficult as it was my first experience of loosing a loved one. Grandfathers are wonderful too, glad you were also blessed. You sound like an amazing grandmother yourself, Robin. 🙂 hugs…..

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