this is not my grandmother’s lamp hanging in the waiting room, illuminating softly the lamp is a familiar stranger someone you’d smile at swearing you know memories of my childhood stir and stretch a surging longing a beast that usually sleeps, and I am walking the blueprints of her house the only house I have ever called home

this is not my grandmother’s lamp my fingers caressing the discs of soft white shell the scents of piney trees and briney sea wafting I catch myself listening for her call as my little girl feet take me out into the back yard, heading for the swing or my tiny careful fingers touching all the things she said not to touch or marveling at her Mary Poppins magic purse with anything I really mean anything my young mind could ask for somehow inside all at once

this is not my grandmother’s lamp my grandmother died in 2000 in the summer and a hurricane took the house not long after and I am filled with a kind of gentle pain a dandelion seed orphaned and dancing I have her eyes, her shape, her temper I named my daughter after her though neither of them lived long enough to know this is not my grandmother’s lamp but it shines her light I shine her light this is not my grandmother’s lamp #napowrimo2019

Kyeli Smith @Kyeli