Sunday, October 14, 2007

Great Grandma VonPein

Great Grandma VonPein

A crazy quilt
Of misery and rage
Stomping up
And stamping down
The porch, a broomstick
Across her elder shoulders
To improve posture
Ramrod, fierce and
Gimlet eye
A tongue all
Fire and acid
Waiting for
The smallest fault
To pounce and
Still shudder
At her memory.

Yet, hearing her life story
I feel a
Sneaking sympathy
And perhaps
A hint of pride.
Abandoned by
Her mother,
Who ran away
With a passing
Indian tribe -: Comanche.
Left as a baby with her
angry sisters
And bitter father,
Nothing but a beaded bag
From her mother.
Tormented all her
Life by a dark suspicion
That her father really
Was a red man.

Yet, she married
Off into Indiana
Following her
Feckless husband, perhaps a drunk,
Bore him twelve children.
Then that husband
Abandoned her
In his turn,
by hanging himself
With a rough rope
In the family barn.

Still, indomitable,
She raised the Boys and girls.
Sent them to a bit of
College, even,
And all but the last turned away.
All she left
Her granddaughters
Are bitter memories
And beautiful patchwork
Quilts sewn fine
Hand stitched and
Finished the day
She died.

Oct. 13, 2007


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