Grandmothers

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You grandmothers are like Gibraltar’s rock,
Braving storm and sea and gunships pounding
On your timeworn shores, and yet you talk
Of getting old and getting on, sounding
Like you’d rather crumble and return
To dust and leave your troubles once for all.
Maybe that’s all true. Who’s really learned
To live inside the stained and graying walls
Of loneliness and pain as you have, counting
Years as days and days as years? But are
Your mothers gone, or can you see them mounting
On the wings of memory from far
Away and long ago? Can’t you hear
Them, hold them, see them smile and laugh again,
And feel the strength they had in spite of tears
And troubles? Aren’t they still Gibraltars in
Your hearts? And so are you in ours forever,
With such a lasting love that death can’t sever.

2/7/1984

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