Friday, March 25, 2016

What you can use

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”
~Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes


So... I wrote a poem for Michelle and Amy's "write about something small" challenge.

What you can use
by Tabatha Yeatts

She tucks the stack of
small, clear cups into my hand,
along with a packet of saltines
and fun-size M&Ms.
Can you use these? she asks.
Sure, Granny, I say,
leaning over to kiss
her soft, cushiony cheek.

She used to peel tomatoes
before she sliced them
when she had a kitchen of her own.
It shows how much you love
the folks you're feeding
when you take the skin off,
she said.

There's no counter here,
no knives, no tomatoes from the garden,
but there are meals,
regular-like-clockwork meals,
which come with a steady stream
of pill-holding cups she saves
to give.

It's been years
since she passed them to me,
but I keep using the little plastic cups
'til they break.
This morning as I tilted a bottle
to pour medicine for my son,
I thought, yes, Gran,
I can use your gifts.


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Heidi has the Poetry Friday round-up at My Juicy Little Universe. Thanks, Heidi!

10 comments:

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

The love in this poem leaks out like juice from a peeled tomato, Tabatha. Such a beautiful tribute to a woman who was a giver her whole life. Such a special gift to hand that trait down to her granddaughter.

cb hanek said...

What a beautiful rendition of sacrificial love on a day to be immersed in Amazing Love. "cushiony cheek" I'm glad that her skin was soft and cushiony, not wrinkled and wizened, because soft and cushiony reminds me of place to rest, to be renewed, and comforted. If only each of us had such a cheek to kiss in gratitude. Thank you for a beautiful tribute to the kinds of loving relationships that death cannot destroy. God bless you!

jama said...

Beautiful poem, Tabatha! There's often a very big heart behind a small gesture. Thank you for sharing your granny with us through these words of love, remembrance, reflection and truth.

Linda B said...

So poignant in the memory, Tabatha, & touching when you do use the little cups with your son. My husband's grandmother saved things like that & gave them to us when we visited. Your grandmother passed on what she could, showed a lot of love for you.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

What is it that makes those cups so poignant? They are empty, clear, yet full of the good medicine of giving and taking. Lovely lovely lovely, Tabatha.

And it was good to see you today. Your cups are full of Women's History Month videos and Poetry in the Halls.

Brenda Harsham said...

It's so sad when people pass out of our lives. I am happy that my gran never forgot who I was. She remembered me even though she forgot her daughters at times.

Joy said...

Oh, Tabatha,
I love your poem. It is a beautiful tribute to love and the little things we do for each other. I was sooo moved by your poem. The objects tell so much about the characters in the poem. Wonderful. Thank you.

Irene Latham said...

What a treasure, those cups, and this memory, and this poem! Thank you, Tabatha. I have these old thumbprint goblets from my grandmother that we use every day -- I used to want to save these things, but now I feel like the best way I can remember and love is to use them for as long as I can (not stick them on a shelf!). Thank you for this loveliness! xo

Doraine Bennett said...

What a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing your memories of a well-loved granny. Fortunately the memories will outlast the little plastic cups!

Pop said...


Wonderful poem about Mom, Tabatha. And I remember those cups, too, and how important it was that she could give them.

She certainly understood me as well because she would save some of the snacks they gave her and put them in a box for me to choose from. And they tasted all the better for it. :-)