My grandmother was born to be
My grandmother, surrounded by
Pies, lightly dusted in flour,
Or so I thought until
Relatives told me the story of
How she faced down men
Who came to the door to search
For my grandfather, striking
Coal miner, I stand for the
Union, she refrained from saying,
What she did say was simply
My man is not home, meaning
My grandfather hid in the attic,
Meaning armed force would
Have to get past her first
In order to touch a hair on
The head of a single person
In her home, her rolling pin
Off in the kitchen, just an apron
To protect her at the front door,
When as a young lady, I interviewed
My grandmother, asked her of what
In life was she most proud,
The older woman answered
Each of my children lived to be
An adult, I try to imagine
A woman who chose to stand
On stone steps in front of guns yet
Kneel at night beside the sick bed
Racked with cough and a fever,
She who called me her
Princess on the morning
I was born and
When I walked into her arms.


Photo by Keith Berry