Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Stillpoint of the Spinning Wheel"

This poem was prompted by rix_scaedu and sponsored by kelkyag.  It's a Monster House poem about grandmother-granddaughter bonding, growing up ... and what lies beyond that secret laboratory in the basement.


Stillpoint of the Spinning Wheel


When I got my period,
my mother gave me the talk
about women's bodies and boys' wants
and the importance of being careful.
I just nodded and pointed out
that we went over all that in health class
even though I couldn't see the pictures.

That weekend we went to visit Grandma
and after everyone else was asleep,
she took me by the hand and said,
"Come into the kitchen, dearie."

We walked down the creaking stairs
to her laboratory, my seeing-eye gremlin
frisking around our feet.
Grandma went to the one gizmo I could see,
its glowing blocks slowly rotating through each other.
"Close your eyes," she said to me, "and step through."

I obeyed, closing out the cubist lightshow
and the panting grin of the gremlin,
following the warm tug of her hand
that had led me safely through honking traffic
so many times before.

The world whirled away from us
and then, as the floor steadied beneath my feet,
Grandma said, "Now you may look."

When I opened my eyes, I could see.

I could see everything.

Grandma grinned at me,
her wrinkles a map of delight,
as I twirled in place to look at all the people
and the buildings made from walls of light
and the gizmos with their blinking buttons.
There were humans and monsters and aliens
and things I couldn't even begin to describe.

"Welcome home, granddaughter,"
she said to me.
"This is when I come from."

"Why can I see it all?" I whispered.
If I was dreaming, I didn't want to wake up.

"We are at the center of the spacetime continuum,
so everything that exists here touches Destiny,"
Grandma said.  "This is the stillpoint of the spinning wheel."

"Why I am I here?  Now?" I asked her.
Grandma took me by the shoulders
and turned me around to face one building,
shaped like a cluster of blue and white balls.

"That's a school," she said,
"for people who want to keep the worlds
rolling safely along their tracks.
You may study there if you wish;
they accept legacies, and you're mine."

"But I have to go back to junior high on Monday,"
I protested.
"I can't learn everything in one night!"

"You won't have to learn it all in a night,"
Grandma said to me.
"We have all the time the world."


Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, writing
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