That Certain Slant of Sunlight


This isn’t about the curtains.
(Lacy, fluttering in a lazy afternoon
Not really. And it’s not about
the pale porcelain bowls
or the way plain old
vanilla ice cream tasted
better out of them than at home.

It’s not about her cherry trees
or the sugared pies that followed.
Or the broken 4th step or the hard
Christmas candy in the parlor
that might have been there
since 1943. Or the giraffe she
brought home from her trip to Africa.
Or the way she later forgot my name,
thought I was my mom.

It’s about the palest blue eyes,
……….and the way she smiled.

Quickly in November (day 11) has prompted us to go ‘way back’ and write about a memory, but focusing on a specific detail. This somehow became an amalgamation of both of my maternal great-grandmothers, both of whom passed away early in my childhood. 




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8 Responses to That Certain Slant of Sunlight

  1. whimsygizmo says:

    Annnnnd. I see I have named a poem this in the past. How strange.

  2. Olga says:

    Lovely tribute to past memories.

  3. Misky says:

    This is so touching!

  4. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    love the allusion – the congolomeration of associations captured in remembrance

  5. Steve Austin says:

    Oh goodness. This one got me. My maternal Granddad, “Boss”, is in the early stages of dementia and it just plain sucks. Thanks for this beautiful piece.

  6. Shawna says:

    Oh my word, I LOVE THIS!!! Especially the way you began that parenthetical sentence with the adjective “Lacy,” which, having to be capitalized, becomes the name of a girl! Then I’m picturing it being “curtains” for Lacy, in this way or that.

    There’s something in that broken 4th step that makes it the centerpiece for the poem for me. It makes me think of stairstep children, being the fourth of them. Also, step-children.

    Or the giraffe she … That means she felt awkward and tall, with a long neck. Maybe also a little bit “above” everyone else. Maybe she tended to be smarter. But I don’t think she was cocky about it. She just secretly knew it was true.

    The way she smiled through the hard, I think. This was back when life was really and truly hard. Now, we just make up life being hard because we’re ridiculous. But then, it genuinely was. And she smiled through it … like, a real smile; not a fake one.

    I love this “Lacy” character. She reminds me of my husband’s grandmother, whom we lost a couple of months ago.

  7. So great. Love, love, love this.

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