nanny, an elegy

We all knew her as Nanny

The mother to my own

Summer trips to Wisconsin never growing old

The countless lunches at Bay View

Deli and afternoons spent in Uncle Tom’s

Shop, the smell of wood varnish still lingering strong


Around the corner she would always keep the pantry

Stocked, the family knew where my sweet tooth came

From. The raspberries picked from her backyard,

Never has tart ever tasted so good. Then out into the

Front yard, throwing the football to myself

Under her gaze, could’ve been for hours.


I had entered the anything goes zone

And in turn helped bring about the beginning of the end.

She was supposed to watch me one night while

Everyone was out to dinner

It turned out they were playing with fire,

But they weren’t alone


Toothpick after toothpick went down in flames

But we had a glass of water nearby, we were

Being safe.  We were having fun, I remember, Mom

Would never let something like this fly

Their faces plastered with concern, amazed the

Small wood fragments were the only things that burned


Her granddaughter was getting married soon;

We were jealous how she got to relive the

Joy of hearing the news each time she was told

As if it were the first, because for Nanny

It was. By the end of it

She may not have even remembered who

I was, but I knew I was her favorite.

Still I had to make sure, so the last time I saw her I asked


She turned and looked at me and said,


When the news finally came, and I learned of her passing,

I used it as an excuse to skip football practice.

Just as she would have wanted me to