The Great, Great, Great, Great, Grandmom who Died.

a poem by Rita Joyce Singh, India

My old friend called, she cried,
“My great, great, great, great, grandmom died!”
I rushed. That grandmom was only one great
Not the exaggerated great, great, great, great…
But she had been a feisty heart, loved with fearless force
With fortitude and cheer had run her course
Lived many, many summers in the hot sun
A good hundred years less one
Many feared the old matriarch
Though infirm, her words had a strong back
Yet, so many loved her the most
So kith and kin and padre with last rites and host
Were present at her deathbed
Much anointing and prayers said
The favourite, tearful grandson later gathered
All at her bedside now tethered
Near and dear ones ,homage payers and guests
Waxed eloquent “Her funeral will be the best!”
“Now dear folks may I offer all some wine
I have some Tempranillo, Spanish, fine”
Between grief and courtesy so muddled
He picked the farthest bottle and fiddled
No easy cork, it just flew before the fizz
Champagne! Marquis de Pomp… whatever… it is
The cork hit centre forehead
Of the boy’s dapper dad, who swooned back aghast, atop grandma’s bed
“Cough! Cough!” Some one yelled, “Stop that fizz, enough!”
All ran helter-skelter,oh, oh wait!
The great, great, great, great, great
Grandma sat up in bed straight
Quick she grasped though she was ‘late’
“What in the name of heavens is happening!”
“My champagne is less drunk more dampening!”
“Here you silly bandicoot get off my stomach,
What son cured his mother’s backache
Sitting on her stomach get up! Get me up!”
“Just where are my slippers, soup and sup.”
“What is all this gathering!”
“My word! All this shocked-looking!”
“Well I’ll be dead!
No one using his head
Such a morose crowd
For crying out aloud!”
“What’s going on, who’ll pick courage to bell me!”
“Silly, sobbing, sissies now just tell me!”
“Grandmom”, ventured the son.
In hysterics, coming undone
“Ha, Ha Ha! Heh, heh,sob! true you were dead
Mourned by all upon this bed!”
“True!” Said the padre,” I had given you last rites!”
“ Poppycock!” She exclaimed, “ I might as well fly kites.”
“And, the rest of you bawling ,banshees listen clear,
Death is no big deal to fear
If I have to go I have to go
No need to make a show
What’s all this weeping
Such bedlam would wake the sleeping!”
“Men’s unkind, callous conducts
Gathers momentum and tear products
At deaths and funeral
For many of them death frightens so real
For many there is no more chance
To undo their unkindness to the dead, alive once
They cry inconsolably.
Wishing to undo their unkindness. Presumably,
They miss the dead only when they are dead with regrets
Thus, such occasions is the office to pay their debts.
Now Padre, don’t eulogise my rise as resurrection,
It was a simple case of no breath detection.”
“Why! don’t you all watch cricket and Sachin Tendulkar pitting?”
“Don’t you do some teeth gritting?”
“ And hold breath
That is not death”
“He’s always going out at ninety-nine
Less hundred by one
Could happen to anyone
And promise me that you’ll all celebrate
When I do go
Just so
That I
Shed no tears for me!”
“There is time enough now
For each to hold no regrets and show more love somehow,
Now pour me some Champagne
Death is no loss or gain
Just passing o’er,
Ah yes! Pour me Marquis De Pompidour.”

The great, great, great, great, great...
Grandmother of grandchildren ten plus eight
Four weeks later she really, died
Two days past her hundredth birthday, now completed with pride
There were tears, but of course!
Much more of love, forgiveness and laughter
The following weeks and weeks after

The padre eulogised in homily ,joy at her death
She was a great, great, great, great one , she loved with every breath
She loved well, she loved true, she loved whole
She was a loving soul

Note:A true incident though the poetic liberties are overdone here...have fun

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