She was a patient old soul,
carefully coaxing the hickory from the shell.
She prided herself
in getting the nutmeat whole.
Whole ones brought more,
when it was time to sell.
She'd listen to country 'n western on the radio
with her pie tin of cracked nuts in her lap.
Sometimes she'd watch a game show,
all the while flipping the nuts out cleanly;
just a twist of her wrist,
a dig with the pick, and a snap.
Other days, her wizened fingers tied fishing lures
from bits of feathers and shiny beads and twine,
skillfully wrapped around with sinker secured
to the sharp, barbed hook, ready for the line.
She made magnets for the refrigerator door:
butterflies and flowers, ladybugs and such
from felt, foam, sequins, glitter, and more!
She sold those too, but she was never paid much.
We'd take her with us to the grocery store.
She'd clutch her list and her little coin purse.
She'd hold on tight to the cart; her feet, slow on the floor.
"At least I can walk....Things could be worse."
She loved playing card games with us.
Hearts, Kings' Corners, and Crazy Eight.
She'd feed us cold milk and Ring Dings. Delicious!
She ignored our bedtime. We'd stay up late!
But the best memory of all for me
was her hands gently cupping my face.
She'd smile and say, "I love you, Sweet Pea.
You brighten up this lonely place."