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To Grandma

Just wanted to tell you that

I finally made that strawberry jam

plump fruit from the local market

cane sugar one-to-one

turned off the heat while it’s still runny

like you taught me, filled two jars


Grandma, did I forget to tell you

that I live in Israel now

married, have two children, twelve and ten

a girl and a boy


I left instructions for Mr. Finkelstein

to look after your plot for which

I pay him every year in advance

he sent me a photo, the cactuses have grown

to five times their size and two of them

have the most delightful yellow blooms


I’ve forgiven grandpa for the things

he said about you, I know they weren’t true

and how he broke my front tooth when I answered

him back and cursed, I’ve forgiven that too


I would have preferred the two of you to be

more separated, not side-by-side as you wanted

but I suppose you both had your reasons for

wanting it that way


Oh and I did learn to count to ten when

I feel my blood boiling as you taught me;

to turn the other cheek.  My wife asked me

where I got those scars and I told her that

once I fell off my bicycle as a boy


Thanks for the recipe and the advice grandma,

my daughter wore your pendant to her school concert

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© Johnmichael Simon



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