The Big Olive


I remember the rosy warm glow of your face,

Skin dusted with powder, hair perfectly in place

Your face, plump with love and oozing delight

For us, your Grandchildren, here to stop for the night.

I remember sweet lavender scent filling the air

as you opened the drawer next to your chair

And you gave us a jar filled with buttons and toggles

All sizes and colours, shiny, smooth, rough and bobbled

We counted and measured and sorted them out

We threaded them into necklaces and threw them about

Like magical jewels they had us in awe

We’d never seen so many all in one place before!

And a bag full of bandages, fluffy and clean

Kept especially for our visits (I can later see)

Purely for indulgence in our favourite game

Of bandaging your legs and unbandaging them again.

As always, your table generously and beautifully laid

With a bounty of tempting treats and cakes that you’d made

Freshly made lemonade and strawberries and cream

And the juiciest pineapple I had ever seen

After we’d eaten and our tummies were full

We snuggled either side of you and waited until

You switched on the TV from your favourite chair

And then brushed, plaited and played with our hair

You gave so much love, you showed so much care

We miss you emensely now your’e no longer here

But as bright as those buttons shine our memories and we can

Tell your Great Grandchildren all about you, Nannan. X

© JA Cornell 2008