August 1, 2011

J.T. Ledbetter

GRANDMOTHER

She lay quietly as if she
could wake,
and only pretended
not to know
what our call intended;
but her dress was fresher
than it should have been,
and straighter;
and the eyes were closed
in something more than sleep,
and greater.

from Rattle #34, Winter 2010

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J.T. Ledbetter: “If my sainted Irish grandmother had seen this poem, ‘Grandmother,’ she would have walloped me, because she was too busy feeding family and field hands on our hard-scrabble farm in southern Illinois to ever die in such a quiet and stuffy manner—what with biscuits and gravy to fix, fried chicken, pies to bake before the men hunched over their dinners, never looking up, assuming she was still alive.”