"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Grandma's Heart

Fragile is the ornament on my grandmother's tree
and her mother's before that, and my mother after.

Every year I unwrap this glass heart that could easily crush
with a tremor of my thumb.
I am amazed that year after year it withstands my clumsiness
though all the grace I have, I give it.

Do you think it survives because it has acknowledged it's own fragility...
puts on no airs as anything but?
It wears the word delicate as a namesake
a right for living so long.
Or perhaps it just always was, and is...

I am delicate.

My heart has made no such claim.
It has machismo and makes concrete statements, like
"I can handle this."
"I can carry you."

If I had conceded early on, that my heart was tissue thin
and crushable in an instant of unexpected cruelty,
would it make any difference?

I am delicate.



  1. Discovering we are both fragile and strong...a good reminder ...

  2. What a beautiful write, Annie.

    You are delicate in the same way that a spider's lacy web is delicate... a spider web is one of the strongest materials on earth. Your heart is a gossamer thing, fragile yet stronger than steel. Love you...xoxo

  3. There is such beauty in delicate fragility Annie. Paradoxically there is also strength ... and such integrity.

    Just be you. You you.

    Big huge hug. xx Jos

  4. Beautiful ornament. And poem. I'm delicate too. Let's chill on a tree.

  5. That is beautiful. I have a glass ornament made by my grandmother over 70 years ago and I'm always afraid I will break it.

  6. There are different types of strengths. Endurance is one of them, delecate or strong. Those thin glass ornaments… Think of how many of the old ones are still around.
    Enjoyed the words

  7. oh sweetie even the strongest can be fragile, we weren't mean to outlive everything and many many fragile things keep on living...it's beautiful, you're a beautiful writer

  8. and as with most things delicate, beautiful as well.

  9. Thank you everyone. Your comments are generous and thoughtful.

  10. @ Ben...you are a funny cat
    Annie I can understand fragility, it showes humanity.

  11. Very sweet, Annie.

    Thanks for sharing your grandma's heart with us. :)

  12. If we would dare be honest and open, we are all fragile. Every damn one of us. But we guys are taught to "keep a stiff upper lip!"

    I apologize to my Dad from time to time after I cry... but it works for me. What can I say?

    As for the ornament, I am a believer that from time to time, there are items, such as your ornament, to which are attached parts of peoples' souls and existences. Look at whom all you said that ornament belonged?

    Imagine all of the great stories it could tell.

    I think I become most fragile this time of year.

    This year is worse than most.

    Merry Christmas, Ms Annie...


  13. i think we are all fragile annie. some of us decide to be hard instead, but that is a fence that keeps out as well as keeps in. most of the time i read your colors and words and i understand because i've walked the same path. i am surprised how fragile i am. but i'm (finally) at a place where i wouldn't trade it. it's my HEART. and that heart tries to do a lot of good.

    sometimes we think a decision is before us when it's already behind us. just saying....

    as for this ornament, i like what shoes said. it has memory within it. maybe memory is the cement to fragile....

    with love


Thank you for listening.