I was ten when my grandmother died.
They told me grandma was in heaven,
she wasn't sick anymore,
and that she was watching over me.
Devastated by the loss,
I sat outside on the concrete stoop,
staring up at the clouds for hours,
looking to see my grandmother again.
I told my mother I'd seen grandma
leaning over the edge of a big, fluffy cloud;
she was waving down at me and smiling.

I remember my mother's sad smile.
She didn't tell me I'd imagined it.
Likely, she wished it was true,
that she could go outside, look up at the clouds
and see her mother again.
Childhood is a strange mix
of imagination and concrete thinking.
Grown-ups understand death in a way
that children never can.
Love gives us strength to bear grief,
but it is never easy.

I look up at the clouds,
trying to conjure you into existence.
Adulthood has robbed me of that gift.
I only have one-sided conversations,
where I convince myself you are listening,
and hope that you will visit me in dreams.

~Elise Skidmore ©2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *