The next time you see me

The next time you see me

A Poem by Richard Layne

about my Grandma


Don't worry,
The next time you see me, I'll be dancing.
She smiled at me 
Held my hand
slipped back into sleep.
I kissed her dry forehead
And then her lips
(had I ever kissed her lips before?).
Walked out of the hospital room
To the airport and my home 
2500 miles away

Of course I would see her again
That was my grandma
She had practically raised me
While my mom worked.
Somehow, no matter how old she was
(She would never tell us)
Or how bad she looked
(We would never tell her)
She would be there like she always was

During the summer
She would stand on her porch while i rode my bike
"Don't go on Border road" she said.
Waiting for me to come around the corner
"Watch out for strangers"
"Look out for cars"
I used to make her worry on purpose
by avoiding
her sight for awhile
doubling back on the side street
Taking my time riding zig zag.
a kid's pitiful show 
of independence.

there always seemed something haunting about where she lived.. 
the old house on Campostella road off by itself that i never spent the night in.
i was afraid of that house.
The cold rooms shut in to save heat
The old closet that connected to another room like some kind of magic doorway
like Narnia except on the other side was a cold unlived in 
The weird glass door to the room next to the TV
I imagined faces in -- people i didn't know
when she moved closer after someone broke in 
the detached garage at the new house always seemed slightly different
Like the ghosts moved with her to spend their time in her unused, damp garage 

We'd cook lunch at her house
with my sister
chicken legs coated with shake n bake,
hand cut potatoes fried in butter,
Tang to drink
and "Big Valley" reruns.
she left me season some chicken soup one time
claimed it was the best she'd ever tasted.

we would call the time ("the time is . . ." in that nasally phone lady voice) 
just to make sure time was moving back then.
What were we thinking?

I remember my grandmother never having money but offering
All she had
We'd talk bad about my grandfather and his new wife until he actually showed up, 
throwing a few dollar bills around like he was a celebrity. Talking his s**t.
It was his house she lived in.
Until my mom couldn't take care of her anymore
And she had to go into a nursing home
With her Shirley Temple movies and The Waltons reruns.
i should have done more to help.

I pulled off to the side of the barren Idaho interstate as
mom called me one day soon after i got back
to tell me grandma was gone.
she was right there beside her bed and i told her
i loved her
through the phone
but she was so so far away.
Sobbing on the side of I-84.
Looking out at the vast almost total emptiness of the high desert that morning 
My grandma could only have imagined from her small, close room.
The 2500 miles
That she would always try to fill in
With her love.

© 2013 Richard Layne

My Review

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Perceptive, empathetic and loving.
A truly exceptional piece.
Work to be proud of, Richard!

Posted 2 Years Ago

Richard Layne

1 Year Ago

Thank you..
This is outstandingly beautiful, truthful, and moving. I feel a little like a dishrag hung out to dry right now. I may have to come back, don't know I am ready for any more.:)

Posted 3 Years Ago

"I remember my grandmother never having money but offering
All she had
We'd talk bad about my grandfather and his new wife until he actually showed up,
throwing a few dollar bills around like he was a celebrity"

Posted 3 Years Ago

A beautiful poem for your Grandmother. It was a wonderful tribute to a woman life. She reminded me of my Grandmother. Always kind words and she was glad to see you always. Thank you for sharing the excellent poetry. You honored her with the amazing poetry and words.

Posted 3 Years Ago

I didn't take this as a tribute, though it could easily be. This told a story. Real, touchable, I could see it unfold behind my eyes. I understood the plays of the emotions and the tastes of love, guilts ...missing. Well done.

Posted 4 Years Ago

I think this is a beautiful tribute to her. I always am amazed at how different the old are. Stuck in their time capsules from their prime. A look at the life they treasured when they were healthy and vital. it is our duty to give them the dignity they deserve and you do/Thank you for asking me to reads this. I am sorry you missed the contest

Posted 4 Years Ago

0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is fantastic! More like a story than a poem, but very compelling and full of emotions that ring true; greag job!

Posted 4 Years Ago

Richard has written a fine narrative poem here, both informative and emotional, full of literary quality !

Posted 4 Years Ago

A great tribute to your grandma . Thank you for posting...:)

Posted 4 Years Ago

Richard Layne

4 Years Ago

thank you sir for reviewing
Sami Khalil

4 Years Ago

You are welcome...:)

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10 Reviews
Added on September 10, 2013
Last Updated on September 10, 2013


Richard Layne
Richard Layne


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