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The VVA Veteran Reviews Prelude

Prelude was recently reviewed by David Wilson, a reviewer from the site “Books in Review II.” Wilson's review eloquently chronicles his reaction to the novel alongside his own experience in Vietnam. "I highly recommend this novel, both as a good read and as a glimpse into the lives of...

SD Sawyer

Just Between Us

The loud teapot whistle that frequently came from inside a little cloth sack my grandma wore around her neck― was her hearing aid. Ninety percent deaf, she couldn’t hear us unless we shouted.  I wonder how children develop an awareness of the handicapped. I was 4, maybe 5 at this time.

〜〜〜     〜〜〜     〜〜〜     〜〜〜

Pots and pans clanked below. Soon faint aromas
of Hershey’s bittersweet cocoa circled the steep
staircase to where two little sisters lay snug beneath

Grandma’s patchwork quilts, tucked into white iron
double beds pressed against icy windows. Linoleum
floors too cold for bare feet confined early morning

antics. Stretching out flanneled arms, our fingers
scratched stick figures, printed granddaughter names
on frosted windowpanes. We’d hear Grandma lumber

between stove and table, stir oatmeal, toast streusel
cinnamon bread with crumb topping. Pipe organ
radiators chirped like spring robins signaling warmth

and Grandma’s gentle call to breakfast― a call she
couldn’t hear through her deaf world of roaring waves,
constant ringing. Sometimes we’d sit spell-bound,

Grandma between us on the overstuffed couch, as she’d
tell stories, a favorite about Grace Darling, the young
heroine who lived in a lighthouse and saved shipwrecked

survivors. As Grandma spoke with her flat voice,
my sister and I would lean into the soft roundness,
gently rub the tops of her hands, smoothing away loose

freckled skin and old age. She’d smile, tilt her head
and chuckle at granddaughter giggles and silliness
― and we knew with us, Grandma could hear.

 

 

 

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One Response to Just Between Us

  1. Sarah says:

    I can picture the two of you in this poem!

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