As my mother is here, and as we're closer than ever, and as we are still remembering, discussing, memorializing my grandmother, it's time to post this poem. I wrote it while I was making her meatball recipe for my favorite cousin. He was the first family - other than my mother - that I've seen since she passed away, and it was healing and it was wonderful. She left so much good behind her, it's almost hard being sad.
I know things my grandmother knows.
I know the icy plunge of warm hands into cold meat, squeezing and turning the bread, the eggs, the cheese.
I know that the 26th day of the month brings a celebration of love.
I know the pain, and the joy, of newborn babies: a son, a daughter, a son.
I have put the knot in the yellow scarf.
I have tied the bow of the pink apron over my back.
I have loved a good man.
I have fastened the pearls.
I have stood over the stove as she did, frying dough and tossing into waiting little hands: my son, my daughter, my son.
I know love. Love from the family that made me, and love from the family I made.
I know the things that my grandmother knows.