You came to Iowa, married, divorced.
He wanted you to be small.
You wouldn’t have it. No one
can contain you,
You had a bad job once, factory job,
a boss who treated you like dirt–
one day you took the hose and
he covered his face and fled,
you sprayed him into a corner, suit dripping,
You told him what you thought of him,
and you walked out.
I daringly told you once, when I was small,
that you reminded me of a peacock.
You love glitter and flashy clothing, and
you love to look for a reaction, peacock woman.
You weren’t offended. You remind me
of it every year–peacock presents,
peacock cake, jokes,
you good-natured woman.
A second husband Alzheimer's-ridden, angry,
Addict son with two cats, angry granddaughter,
You live with them all
And you still know how to laugh,
Know how to sing.
You never drive the speed limit
It’s too slow for you, exuberant woman.
You outrun and outfox police officers,
and then you tell the story to police officers,
and you laugh.
your words burst from you, you give and
you give, give. You give presents,
birthday, Christmas, surprise presents,
because you love to give,
you give your love. You give us
time, skill, love in food
you love to cook,
Even the gluten-free food you say is frustrating,
but never begrudge it to my brother.
You cook Christmas dinner,
And the Christmas conversations which you lead
Are lively at the least, tumultuous woman!
You never were afraid to disagree.
I learned to blush
and, strong-willed woman,
I learned to stand up for myself from you
and your clamorous Christmas dinners.
Granny, I love you, quirks and all,
When I say no, it is your courage doing it,
When I give myself a special treat,
or I interrupt or insist,
it is your influence that lets me dare.
I never regret those Christmas dinners.
I may never be as strong-willed,
As rebellious, as tumultuous, as interesting as you,
But Granny, I am stronger for knowing you.