My Grandparents’ Generation
by Faith Shearin
They are taking so many things with them:
their sewing machines and fine china,
their ability to fold a newspaper
with one hand and swat a fly.
They are taking their rotary telephones,
and fat televisions, and knitting needles,
their cast iron frying pans, and Tupperware.
They are packing away the picnics
and perambulators, the wagons
and church socials. They are wrapped in
lipstick and big band music, dressed
in recipes. Buried with them: bathtubs
with feet, front porches, dogs without leashes.
These are the people who raised me
and now I am left behind in
a world without paper letters,
a place where the phone
has grown as eager as a weed.
I am going to miss their attics,
their ordinary coffee, their chicken
fried in lard. I would give anything
to be ten again, up late with them
in that cottage by the river, buying
Marvin Gardens and passing go,
collecting two hundred dollars.
“My Grandparents’ Generation” by Faith Shearin from Telling the Bees. © Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2015. (buy now)