A program of the TBA-ISD Career-Tech Center in collaboration with the National Writers Series

A program of the TBA-ISD Career-Tech Center in collaboration with the National Writers Series

A program of the TBA-ISD Career-Tech Center in collaboration with the National Writers Series

An Elegy to my Father’s Mother- Athena Gillespie

I never met my father’s mother,
but I feel her everywhere.


Wrapping myself up in the thick wool blanket she made,
blue with little white sheep covering it.


I sneak into my mother’s closet, standing on a wooden stool to
reach the top shelf.
A book of poetry on rough, thick paper, written by Faith Gillespie.
I lie on my stomach on the matted carpet, leafing through page
after page.
“42 copies,” the first page reads.
“Mother of none, in labour, rocking in labour, wracked, giving birth
to herself. No one sees her.”


My grandmother writes of how they used to kill witches.
Death by pressing.


I can almost hear her voice reading the line, “I said I was a lover
not a fighter. Well, I lied. I know it’s both or none.”


I run my fingers over the textured art printed next to the poems
on the handmade French paper.
Only black and white images,
clouds, zippers, waves.

I lie on the floor for hours,
only getting up when I hear the sound of the garage door opening
and a car door slamming shut.
I gently place the book back where I’d found it,
knowing I’d be back soon.

I never met my father’s mother,
but I feel her everywhere.