Saturday, 13 November 2021


On Lineage

by Nicole Bird

I’ve never met my grandmother. She exists
in tall tales and stories to shiver your bones.
The last time my mother saw her,

she chased her out of the house
with a knife she was using to chop onions,
the sour smell infecting my mother’s eyes.

They welled with tears amidst all those
quick movements and heightened senses
necessary to evade cold violence.

My mother sprinted out of the house and
never returned. Now

My grandmother resides in a facility
situated on the side of a mountain
in Puerto Rico, confined to a wheelchair,
prisoner of her own mind.

She’ll never again realize that today is today.

I’ve never met her but,
when I do–because life has that sort of funny inevitability,
I wonder

if the chilling history
will provide context for the ghost
of a grandmother. Or will she be

just another human, dragging her pain behind her,
like chains scratching against concrete, until
they’re nothing but brambles made of rust.

* * * * *

"On Lineage" was previously published in the Ariel Chart International Literary Journal. 

Nicole's career began with a degree in Creative Writing. Her focus then shifted to garnering degrees in Film Production and Screenwriting. Afterwards, Nicole worked in film, while writing and producing her own short films. Now, Nicole works as a Creative Writing professor and is currently at work on a collection of poetry, as well as honing her gluten free baking skills developed during the 2020 quarantine. Her work has appeared in the Ariel Chart International Literary Journal.

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