I unearthed this poem about my maternal grandmother a couple of weeks ago. I think I wrote it about 4 years ago, but it could be more and certainly I'd forgotten I'd written it. I sent it to my parents, who then sent it on to a couple of friends who had known Pooh, and all seem really taken with it. I must say I think it's one of my best because even after several years, it still seems to say exactly what I wanted and, even for me, brings back a vivid picture of my grandmother.
Called Pooh by her six-year-old daughter,
she uniquely dispensed with the difficulties of naming.
So my other granny could be Granny, in-laws and others
could avoid the awkward choice of Mrs Jones or Marjorie.
When other children asked "why is she called Poo" I knew
they left off the 'h', and felt she'd been insulted.
"She just is."
Pooh scored points off Granny by allowing raspberry-blowing
and rudenesses like "silly old Pooh" and no church.
I don't think she spoke to God since widowhood in 1940
but I went church silver-cleaning with her
and church magazine delivering on the green
letting her do the ones with fierce dogs
and smelly old people.
Weekends with Pooh had Juke Box Jury and Dixon of Dock Green
and a bottle of Cherryade and cheese and pickle cracker sandwiches
for breakfast if I wanted. I shared her bedroom,
discovered the growling bear in the night was her snoring,
joined in her toe-touching "sizers" in the morning
and drank orange-juice in bed.
In her eighties and my thirties "how's your love life?" she'd ask,
knowing neither of us had one,
but after her stroke, when her "Do men come here?" brought a yes she said "Good" and she waited to see me safely married before she died.