Monday, May 5, 2014

Grandmother Burns--By Jean Calkins--United States

Grandmother Burns

Grandmother, I never knew you.
I was but a fledgling when you flew
the nest. But I remember your little
white house, set lower than the highway—
the highway that is now no more
than an extended drive. And I remember
the precious old flour bin you said was mine.
But mother never agreed, and claimed
it as her own. I see your white-topped
head, lying on pale sheets, but the face
is gone, and there are no pictures
to remind me. But your blood flows
through my veins, and across the years,
I feel a connection to that other life.

Jean, at 80, has been writing poems since she was 18. For 25 years she published a popular poetry quarterly of up to 100 pages, with a subscribership of nearly 500. Illness in 1986 ended the magazine. She currently publishes, by email, a 2-page monthly of clean humor. Contact her at


  1. Oh, Jean, I am quite mesmerized with your beautiful tribute to your grandmother. I can empathize with your hunger to crave to know your grandmother! Oh, but you define her so well in this piece and the ageless bond of generations within you that stirs you and inspires and burns within you. How blessed I am to read you here on Whispers! How fortunate we all are! Sheri at:

  2. Dear Jean, You are a woman after my heart that believes ancestors are so important and to know them is to love them. What a lovely tribute to your grandmother with such loving memories. Thank you for sharing your talent and well written poem.
    Love, Charlene

  3. Dear Jean,
    It's a shame you never got to know your grandmother better. How wonderful that you feel her influence in your life anyway! Beautiful poem.
    Peace and blessings,

  4. Thank you, Jack Horne, for the following comment--

    lovely nostalgic piece

  5. Love it, Jean. Thanks for sharing. Continued blessings!

    -Maurice J. Reynolds, Owner / Editor
    TGBTG! Publications / Creative Inspirations

  6. Such a lovely tribute Jean, to your dear grandmother, held in a timeless memory.
    Blessings always, Leokadia