Category: Gram

I can cook now, mostly

I’m still not sure why I was home alone that monumental day, but I had graduated from setting the table for dinner to making the meal by myself.

Lorraine Schoeneberger

Gram at Uncle Dave’s fishing competition July, 15, 2007.

I grabbed the softball and turned it around in my glove until my first two fingers were set where I wanted them along the seams. I focused on the placement of the catcher’s mitt, ignoring where the batter would be. My task was to put the ball in the catcher’s mitt. That’s all I looked at. I stretched back and released the ball.

Black Walnuts

A squirrel steals a black walnut off Gram’s back porch.

I placed the half-full bucket of black walnuts on the ground and took a deep breath. For Gram, it’s not so hard to carry, but I’m still little and half-full is more than enough for me. I turned around and looked back toward her back yard, full of trees, scanning the surface to see if I had missed any black walnuts.


The best grandma in the world.

I wrote this poem as part of my final project in my poetry class at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I turned it in on July 12, 1990. I had turned twenty-years-old seven days before. Today would have been Gram’s 96th birthday.

Perfer et obdura, dolor hic tibi proderit olim

The best grandma in the world.

The best grandma in the world.

Perfer et obdura, dolor hic tibi proderit olim

I spoke to you on Thursday
by Saturday, you were gone
In my jealousy
I wanted you to stay
to speak to you again
to tell you I loved you once more

The morning light had come
your time was done
1:11, 11:11, it doesn’t matter the hour
there was so much more to say

No more history lessons
no more dirty jokes
no more simple days
to sit with each other
and just

I can still feel your soft skin
your gentle voice
in the echoes of my mind
your laugh
your smile
how you said my name

It’s been five long years
without your advice
your wisdom
your wit

I miss my cognate
my mentor
my friend

The loss
cannot be replaced
what was once extant
is now gone

If I could ask
you’d say
Be patient and tough;
someday this pain will be useful to you

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