“I saved these just for you” she said.
“I knew you’d come one day to find them.”
Bending to her bureau drawer,
the moonlight swept across her face
and there ‘neath tattered wings I saw
a form familiar.

She picked up bits of ivory
with her musing fingertips
worn now from the years.
A smile, soft and lovely,
graced her frail and shallow face
and flash-backs
just like shreds of lightening . . .
flooded me.

“It was you, wasn’t it?" I gasped.
“All the while it was you . . .
tiptoeing past my bed
like a thief who’d stolen jewels.
I thought that I was dreaming . . .
swore I saw those wings . . .
yes, and that fairy scent you always wore.
You lived with us back then, Grandma,
and all the while . . . I thought that thief was Mom!”

She bid me, “Close your eyes and open up your hand.”
and as if I were standing small again . . . I anxiously obeyed.
Then she dropped them,
my tiny ivory tooth buds saved since childhood
toppled in the center of my palm,
"treasures, jewels" she said . . . her memories.

And there we lay that evening
recalling heart-soaked lullabies
rocking in the dark
till all the breath of all the years
dissolved into my arms
and the long cord of Grandma's love
~ wrapped my heart with gold.

Joanne Cucinello 2010