Grandma’s Gone Home

When my grandmother passed away many years ago, we had a wake here in Chicago and again two days later in her hometown of Martin, Tennessee. In between her remains were flown to Memphis and then driven up to Martin. We took the long drive to Martin from Chicago to attend the wake and then the burial next to my grandfather.  Shortly after my return home, I wrote the following.


Grandma (left)

You flew home.
We drove –
Across long, lonely Sunday highways.
The sky glared down at us
Through hazy eyes.
The air was filled with static
And thoughts of bears and bird dogs.
The road led us past sights
No longer familiar.
Time has no sympathy for trips like these.
Still, we must go home again.


You waited peacefully.
We came in our Sunday best.
Friends and relatives gathered
From places you’d been years earlier.
Some held vague remembrances
Of family experiences.
Some wore faces no longer familiar.
Time gives no comfort at occasions like these.
Still, we will come home again.


You led the way.
As always, we followed.
Slowly you took us
Across streets wet with morning rain.
The air was heavy
With memories we couldn’t express.
The clouds had gone but
The mist stayed in our eyes.
On a hilltop you joined
Friends and relatives who left years earlier.
Although carved in stone,
Some held names no longer familiar.
Time moves on toward days like these,
When we’ll all go home again.


Copyright Richard Paschall

April is National Poetry Month

2 thoughts on “Grandma’s Gone Home

  1. It’s a beautiful tribute! Timeless, yet timely, especially in these days of pandemic. I hope we will not see many friends and relatives, with names we remember or not, with the year 2020 after their names carved in stone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope not, but these are tough and not all are willing to go along with the tough measures. My grandmopther lived into her 90s and I recall there was a picture of her holding her great-great granddaughter.


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