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My grandmother was a teacher when most women stayed at home. She rose before the sun each day to scribble down a poem.

She helped her ma and pa, would feed the pigs and steer, then walk past fields of wheat and corn, to teach children she held dear.

She married and she carried four children of her own, but husband Ed died all too soon, one icy night did not come home.

The car was hit and three men died, a trucker passed the line, so grandma carried on alone, the trucker paid a fine.

Her father was a painter, he died the 16th day of March, on December 1st when Ed was killed, it was too much for her heart.

But her kitchen smelled like peaches, beef broth and fresh squeezed lime, rich cream and melted butter, through windows sun did shine.

In her cellar was a washer, two rollers on a tub, she’d crank a handle, ring her wash, bent over she would scrub.

Clean sheets were hung with clothespins, and dried in fresh sweet air, the scents of flowers in her backyard, for these she taught me how to care.

Opening up a bleeding heart, she pointed out its inner, magical tendrils took the shape of Cinderella’s slipper!

Her parakeet named Pepper would fly out from its cage, with her finger she would scold, “Pepper, don’t touch my hanging sage!”

She went to work at Lanark school, one of the kitchen cooks, so she still fed many children, but this time not with books.

She darned our socks and knit us mittens, of pain she never spoke, from rocking chair she read the Word, her heart no longer broke.

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