Generations

One night my father
who came home from sea
took me in his arms outside
to watch the stars
sticking on the cobalt sky
and all I saw was him.

I held my son just after
he began to live and
said goodbye to us as one.
From then on he was someone else,
and were we strangers
passing by.

For centuries grandmothers
have managed to live
in the presence of baby
granddaughters
so I can bear your crying.
I am your granny. Give in.

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Comments on: "Generations" (9)

  1. How can we bear – only mothers and grandmothers know…

    • lol My granddaughter would cry all the hours I was taking care of her ๐Ÿ™‚ But that is all in the past now, she is 15 months and I think she likes me ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. This is a lovely poem, Ina, and captures something very special. The way you have introduced the three generations gives a very satisfying structure to the poem, as well as showing those three perspectives that one woman can experience. I love the way, in the first stanza, the child looks up but sees only her father! And in the second stanza there’s that arresting line about saying goodbye “to us as one”! Finally, the struggle of the grandmother who can take comfort from the experience of many generations of grandmothers! Beautiful.
    (May I make a tiny suggestion about the second line of the last stanza? It’s a point about English usage. Your words are typical of the international usage of English and perfectly acceptable of course, but a natural English speaker would not use the infinitive here; we would say either “have succeeded in living” or else “managed to live”; it’s stupid really! You might prefer to leave it the way it is as your voice, and you should delete this bit of comment, but I hope you don’t mind – I make the suggestion only because I think the poem is such a fine one.)

  3. Another excellent poem, Ina, that leads from the nostalgic to the poignant to the practical … your trademark twist at the end! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Beautiful!

    Love the description of the separation and the beginning of his journey as his own person, thats beautiful. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Three cheers for the grannies!

    Love and hugs xx

    • Hi Christine, thank you very much! I am glad John pointed out the mistake in it. Three cheers!
      Love and hugs xx

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