One by one she lays them in my hands: her treasured
stones, her feathers, ribbons, grimy little balls,
her brightly colored beads; relics of her miniature
life, each opening to me the secret joy aglow
behind her child eyes; and with each sacred
piece she shares, our hearts knit tight,
tiny stitches of stones and feathers and beads,
a net to hold the shining of the stars
and of the moon.
A sudden bead slips through my fingers,
pings across the floor, rolls to that hidden
crack where all forever lost things hide,
my clumsiness unraveling our sweet,
sweet finely-knitted trust.
“It’s okay, Grandma,”
her hand upon my hand.
Her tiny heart, filled with treasure
far beyond her stones, her beads,
absolves, forgives; she shows me
yet another bead, and we go on.
Beads and stones, feathers and names,
thoughts and words and lists of things to do;
it seems that in this later season of my life,
they all slip through my fingers now and then.
“It’s okay, Grandma.”
Her whisper holds, embraces me;
and I go on, letting go the stitches I have lost;
smiling at the memories, the beads I still clutch
tightly…in my hands and in my heart.