I had two grannies

I had two grannies
(Not everyone does, you know).
One tall and spindly like a soothsayer’s runes
And another short and dwarfish like a hoarder of rubies.

If they could have peeled the flesh off me
They would have when I was four
And grafted their skin on me with their
Surgery knives of fleshy steel called tongues.

I remember them: their eyes, and now I wish
— I wish I didn’t.
Except in those messy fairy tales where
Witches get pushed into ovens
And children find their own way home.

Just as an addendum: I never saw my grandmothers again after the age of six when we moved and they died at a much later date. My dim memories of them are few.

For dVerse's "Grandmothers ..."

50 thoughts on “I had two grannies

    1. I was hoping, as I read, that this was an invention, but apparently not. Your grandmothers sound like my mother. Ugh. No child should ever have to endure that kind of emotional abuse.

      I’m going to be horribly presumptuous here and i hope you’ll not mind, but I think the final stand-alone line is unnecessary. You’ve made your point succinctly already. It’s a harrowing poem and the tongues are described as aptly as i have ever seen. Top tier difficult stuff, my friend. –Shay

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you, Shay, for your kind comments. What luck, right? Two grannies and both a terror! Thanks for the editing suggestion. Reading with and without the standalone line, I’m torn.The effect is definitely not the same both ways. I’ll leave it in for now and come back to it later hoping some distance will help make up my mind. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sherry Marr

    “Spindly like a soothsayer’s runes” and “dwarfish like a hoarder of rubies” are amazing descriptions. They do sound like they belong in fairy tales. I note the red hand and “children find their own way home / but they dont.” Powerful writing.


    1. Thank you, Sherry. Children can sense hostility in ways they don’t even understand, in words they can’t decipher. And it can become all the more terrifying as a result.


    1. If only all grannies were cuddly! Sometimes fairy tales reveal fears that lurk in the most seemingly benign of places and for children, inexpressible at the time.


  2. I love this description, Dora:
    ‘One tall and spindly like a soothsayer’s runes
    And another short and dwarfish like a hoarder of rubies’.
    They do sound scary, though.


    1. Incredible, isn’t it, that old memories still have the power to wound. But children very innocently give adults that power and their very innocence makes them powerless to defend themselves. Thank you, Merril.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The “caricature” imagery of fairy tales really are suited to a child’s perceptions and experienced pain, especially when they are difficult to access verbally. Thank you, Laura.


  3. How scary for you I was lucky to have such a warm gran, full of love and cuddles, I didn’t know my mum’s mum who died young she was a nurse but I am told she was a very kind person. So I cannot even imagine what it was like for you, but thankfully you turned out just perfect ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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