My thoughts have turned to my grandmother a lot lately.  I’ve always thought of her as a strong and capable woman. She was relatively reserved and certainly proper–“A place for everything and everything in it’s place” kind of woman–and I suspect she could have given etiquette lessons to Miss Manners.  One thing I’ve been struck by recently is some of the contrasts between my ideas about her and my actual memories of time spent with her, and ultimately, how little I knew the woman she was.


My pragmatic grandmother
stoic and steady
taught us to wish
on eyelashes and stars
and on a slice of pie–
Cut off the corner
tuck it behind the crust
now turn your plate
clockwise, three times
eat it all, corner piece last
to make your wish come true
On the first of the month
she taught us to wake
and quickly whisper
Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit
for good luck
I wonder why she dwelt on wishes
what she wished for then…

Oh, how I wish
I could ask her now

© Molly Hogan, 2019

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by the dynamic Carol Varsalona at her blog, Beyond Literacy Link. She’s sharing a lovely foggy morning at the beach in photos and poetry.

26 thoughts on “Wishes

  1. margaretsmn says:

    Lovely, thoughtful poem. I have an idea that your grandmother’s wishes were all made with love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lindabaie says:

    There are so many questions that would be wonderful to ask. I love hearing about her way to make wishes. I knew the eyelash one, but not about the pie. Thanks for the loving poem about your grandmother.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cvarsalona says:

    I have only heard the wish upon a star and make a wish with the Thanksgiving turkey wishbone but now see that there are more wish thoughts. Your grandma sounds like she had many wishes for her children and their children. It is odd that we think we remember all about out grandmas but do we ever really know what their inner thoughts were? I think your poem is a lovely recollection of a woman so dear to you, Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. cweichel says:

    I knew about eyelashes and stars, but the other wishings are new to me. I agree with margaretsmn, your grandmother’s wishes were all made with love to you. Now that I am a grandmother myself, I’m sure of it.
    There are so many questions I wish I had asked my grandmothers and parents.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t really have the opportunity to get to know any of my grandparents very well. Your poem makes me wish I had… I wonder about their wishes too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. katswhiskers says:

    I am sure your grandmother loved having you all enthralled as she wove her whispered wishes. And you’re so right about the things we do not know. To me, my grandma was always a homemaker – but second-born in a family of four girls, before three little boys arrived, she was in fact her pioneer-father’s right-hander, riding steep gorges and hefting fenceposts, until she married her settler-hubby and took to cutting cactus and dairy farming. My grandad’s illness brought a reshuffle to family residences when I was about 4 – so I don’t actually know/remember her in this role. I wish I did! I only knew her in town… in the kitchen. (And she was always so elegant and quiet!)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Linda Mitchell says:

    I have a whole new reason to eat pie! Hooray!
    You know, I had no idea at the time that I lost my grandmothers how much I would miss them…each woman had so much that I feel is a piece of me I wish I could uncover in her. I soooooooo get your grandmother thoughts. My children have grandparents that came to them from me…their birth grandparents are unknown to them. I wonder about those people too. This is such a love-letter poem. You make me wish for my Grandmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I’m still not a big pie fan, Linda, so I seldom do this, but I never see a piece of pie without thinking of my grandmother. I have come to believe that we would have shared so many interests now. It makes me ….sad…or maybe wistful is more accurate.


  8. Alice Nine says:

    Lovely, Molly. Pie is my FAV dessert and now I have a reason to have another piece. I have often I wished I knew more about the women who gave me life. Both paternal and maternal were immigrants– the “greats” were grown women bring their daughters — my grandmothers. They were all strong women. That much I know. A couple years ago I learn some things about my paternal great-grandmother from a second cousin who found me on the internet. I wish we knew more!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. maryleehahn says:

    My growing up was filled with wishes and superstitions, but like you, I never wondered why they were there and what they did for my Mom. Now you’ve got me wondering…and it’s too late to ask! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kay Mcgriff says:

    What lovely wishes fill this poem. I have wished upon stars but did not know the other one. My grandmother died when I was just twelve, but I grew up hearing “You are just like your grandma.” I have often wanted to ask her questions now that I’m grown.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. haitiruth says:

    This poem brought tears to my eyes. How little we know people, even the ones we love the most! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  12. jonicaggiano says:

    This poem evokes so many memories. I wished I could have spent more time with my grandmother also, as I loved her. I remember her old and winkled hands making biscuits by scratch in her large wooden carved out bowl. I was mezmerized by the skill and love she put into those amazing buttermilk delights. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. jonicaggiano says:

    Thank you for bringing my memories back with your beautiful words. XX

    Liked by 1 person

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