Hath September | Day 9 | I didn’t know | Monica Hand

September 9, 2012

I didn’t know
my mother’s mother
not even her name

She died

when my mother
was sixteen
of breast cancer

My mother had cancer
lung cancer
refused chemo

She died

She told the doctor
she had seen her mother’s
blackened chest

My daughter refused
her daughter
to see my mother

When do you show
a child death?
As if they don’t see
us dying

We tell her
Great grandmother
is in heaven

She died
my mother

My granddaughter
tells me, don’t be lonely
your mother is here
touches her heart

I see my granddaughter
look out the window


I hear her say,
Great grandmother
your daughter
needs you




Monica A Hand, author of “me and Nina,”
(Alice James Books, 2012), is also a book
artist. Poems have appeared in numerous
publications including Aunt Chloe, Black
Renaissance Noire, Drunken Boat, and
Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating
Cave Canem’s First Decade. She is currently
is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing Poetry
at Missouri University Columbia.


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