Ruby At End of February Tunnel (Sorry, only Jello.)


Here’s a February kind of poem I’m reposting for dVerse Poets Pub open link night.  (The picture is at least new, and I’m  about as proud of it as one can be of a picture of jello–)


We flew out there, then drove.
My mother, who despised gum chewers,
snapped hers loudly, pushing herself up to the wheel
as if it were the chin rest
at an eye exam.

Though my grandmother lived in Minnesota, the hospital
was in Iowa. When the rental car crossed state lines—
another source of amazement—
my mother, who only drove set routes, had rented a car—
the road narrowed and curved and my mother
cursed all Republicans.

She took the thin gravelly shoulder as
a personal affront; the lip the tires
skidded against was even worse,
an insult to FDR.

At the hospital, my grandmother’s hair cast
about her face like a bridal veil blown back.
She was better already, she said, just
at the sight of us (but we sure shouldn’t have come;
it was too darn hard).
Then pointed to a cup of jello,
which was as crimson, faceted, as a ruby,
and, at first, resisted my spoon.
“Mama,” my mother said.

Enjoy the day!  And while you are enjoying it, check out dVerse Poets Pub and the wonderful poets there, and also my books!  Comic novel, NOSE DIVE,  book of poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, or children’s counting book 1 MISSISSIPPI.       

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20 Comments on “Ruby At End of February Tunnel (Sorry, only Jello.)”

  1. brian miller Says:

    smiles…a tenderness in this…but also some playful points…the gum chewing and hates gum chewers and cursing republicans is always a plus you know…smiles….great end.

  2. I smiled at that curse too. Some very nice lines, loved the hating gum chewing as she does it herself. The jello in hospital is so true to life too.
    Lovely piece of writing.

  3. claudia Says:

    smiles..nice..your mom sounds like quite the character..and lovely closure..

  4. hedgewitch Says:

    Loved it Karin–rather nicely twisted and subtle really in the way it tells its story of family not so much fun—the jello makes the perfect accent. The chin rest is a great punch and that image of your grandmother’s hair as a bridal veil is beautiful.

  5. zongrik Says:

    i remember when my grandmother totally forgot that i ever existed. and she loved me more than anyone, that sucked!!!

  6. Myrna Says:

    Both my mother and mother-in-law were recently hospitalized. Wish I had written something like this. It was lovely.

  7. Oh, Karin, this is so good. I love the little touch of sarcasm or irony tossed in with such a poignant poem. In few words you paint the character of your mother in clear crisp details. Love the one about the chin rest at the eye doctor’s.

  8. ayala Says:

    Nice lines here, Karin.

  9. Chazinator Says:

    Gotta that hospital jello! What a card your mom and grandmom. Brought back memories of trips with my mom. The poem has the innocence of the child’s eyes and voice you portray, you. Wonderful sense of person, place, and time. Love the idea of cursing Republicans!

  10. Sheila Says:

    this is great and your artwork is too cool!

  11. Beth Winter Says:

    Oh, I chuckled at the caption under the picture of jello. Starting off with laughter is a true welcome to the poem. Wonderful sharing 🙂

  12. hypercryptical Says:

    Lovely tender poem – a pleasure to read.

    Anna :o]

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