Friday, September 19, 2014

My Grandmother and Andrea

Photo by Dulcinea at Photobucket

"How wonderful that she was born on the 13th.  
What a lucky number that is." my grandmother said,
with certainty of a rock.
She believed in mishmash.  
"The night sky is red tonight.  It's gonna rain." she'd say
proudly, expressing extent of her pseudoscience indisputable.  
I'd try my best to detect red but all I ever saw was
vastness of black covering jumbled web of strange 
beliefs, unproved "facts" my grandmother misconstrued.

She mistrusted any spiritualist who charged money, 
but paid them well when their psychic powers seemed true.

Andrea was her favorite.  
A jovial, chubby lady who seemed normal in every way, except
she had a spooky room in her house where my grandmother went
to get some amulet or special water with a feather or a coin,
a magnet to attract forces of luck, 
transforming random destiny into magical good.

I feared Andrea.  I sensed her aura obscure,
fragments of invisible powers swam within, waiting for activation.
She was confident of this, I could tell, though her demeanor demure.

My grandmother ignored my resistance during my visit one day 
when I least wanted to talk to anyone I didn't like or believe.
But she forced me to the phone, where Andrea said,

"You just lost a baby I'm told. 
Doctors foretell a barren future.
How sad, hopeless you must feel.
But, don't worry child, all will change, 
for as soon as you return home, 
a fertile seed you will grow."

I've thought of her often, but never spoke to Andrea again.  
I heard she moved far away.

Science predicted doom, a childless life for me.
Somehow Andrea knew this was not to be.
A year later, my grandmother, admiring my newborn said,
"How wonderful that she was born on the 13th.  
What a lucky number that is." 

(Submitted to Imaginary Gardens.)

I've written about this before.  Sorry if you've read the same story in different form.  This really happened.  Maybe that's why I retell it so much.


  1. Coming late to the party, I have not read about this before. Pain, and fear followed by joy. Which is lovely. Thank you.

  2. A beautiful story...thank you for telling it so well.

  3. I love your grandmother's indisputable belief in pseudoscience. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This winds around nicely, first and last lines, like a charm. The proper ambience for the ambivalence of a speaker who doubts except where it counts most. Nice.

  5. Sometimes it's great to believe - maybe that's what make all the difference. Love that you end as you begin.

  6. She was right when it mattered. I like how you come back to explain how being born on the 13th was indeed lucky.

  7. WOW! That is so cool!!!!!! Some people do "see things" glad she saw - and you experienced - the birth of that "lucky 13".

  8. 13 was my grandmother's favorite number. I think I love it because of her. What a wonderful tale and what a wise woman to "mistrust any spiritualist who charged money."

    Love the story painted in this poem!