mourning oma

oma may be dying
she has gone to some trouble to let us all know
and the signs are
that she believes it herself

I have no recollection of her
as a woman of ready smile
solemnity in all things has been her way
a tight widening of closed lips
the closest I can recall
more common
an acid remark
or an appeal for sympathy
while expecting always
matriarch rights

it is thirteen years since opa died
requiring a rewrite of history
and assertion of a need
for new heights in the level of attendance
to woes and needs
by family and friend alike

there has been no acknowledgment
of a good day
in quite some time

and now it may be
that she is genuinely feeling poorly
or that she has seen a portent
in the coffee grounds she once read
she may have had one of her dreams
predicting the end is nigh
whatever the reason
she has told us
one and all
that the next family milestone
is all she has been living for
that she will be finished after that

that milestone has now passed

there is scepticism
even evidence in some quarters
of muted hope
for she has had difficulties
in the endearment department
but mostly
there is disbelief
and indifference

I think my oma may be dying
I wonder if it will happen this time
I wonder how many will cry

© Frank Prem, 2002

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11 thoughts on “mourning oma

  1. I suppose since 2002 things might have been changed. What took my special attention are the words oma and opa. This is the way in my language, Dutch, grandparents are adressed, and also the Germans do it that way. Can I presume Dutch or German ancestry in your family?

    Liked by 1 person

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