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Nearly fifty years ago
My ancient grandmother
Seemed like a giant to me-
She would walk me across the green
Summer lawn under the towering old elms

After dinner, she would stand me on a chair
While she washed the dishes and I would dry-
She would serenade me with old hymns from her childhood
Some mornings she would wake me with a song-
Then came the morning mother told me grandmother
Had died in her sleep-I wasn't allowed to leave my room
Until they had come to take her away

Today, I watched my sister
Walk her granddaughter along the beach
Against a brilliant evening sky-
They bent over and explored seaweed and shells
As waves tickled their feet

Watching my niece on the verge of her womanhood
And my sister in the shadow of hers-
I realized for the first time that my grandmother
Had once been a young girl-
Who had taken long summer walks
With the mother of her mother