Poetry from My Grandmother Danced by Eve Brouwer:
William Grunewald, Saturday, June 3, 1933 Chicago, Illinois
Times have been tough hereabout,
Decent men losing jobs,
decent men riding the rails.
Keeps me counting my blessings, I’ll tell you.
Me and my crew, down at the streetcar barns
are needed, thank God, more than ever now.
Our tinkerin’ with those trolly cars
keeps them on the tracks,
criss-crossin’ through the city,
and keeps us and ours out of the bread lines.
Quitting time is noon on Saturdays.
Next stop, for me, is the church,
the church office to meet Pastor James,
and help him with the Sunday bulletin.
He watches as I pick out the letters on the Underwood.
Keeps his hands clean while I wrap the master
on the mimeograph’s cylinders
and run off a hundred copies for the next day’s service.
Today I was so bold—
after he’d gone,
after I’d scrubbed my hands—
as to page through the index
of his concordance Bible:
“Marriage”; “Love”; “Husband”; “Wife”.
‘Til I found something promising:
Fifth chapter of Proverbs, vese eighteen,
“Rejoice with the wife of thy youth,
Be thou ravished….”
Fact is, I’d been feeling my oats,
thinking maybe some Bible quotes
might help me in persuading Sylvie
to enjoy an evening with me sometime.
So, tonight, as I climbed into bed,
I brought my Bible along,
carried it under my arm,
like I was going somewhere important,
and it did bring on a smile right off,
the sight of me in my pajamas,
carrying that Bible.
I settled in
and in my Good Book voice,
commenced to read,
“Let thy fountain be blessed,”
Which gave her the giggles,
and I knew then
that she knew then
where I was heading.
The Bible does have a nice way of putting things.
I’d never thought of my fountain
I chuckled too, then plowed on,
“Rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”
I lowered my voice,
“Let her be as the lovingly
Here I stopped.
“…as the loving and pleasant….”
“Pleasant what?” she asked.
“Doe,” I faltered, “like a deer!”
And, God Almighty,
And I knew I was soon to succeed.
“Let her breasts satisfy thee
at all times,
And be thou ravished always
with her love.”
as she let her guard down
and lifted her nightie up,
from my hands.
My Grandmother Danced is told in brief, lyrical chapters. This innovative structure keeps the story brisk and fast-paced.The book touches on topics that make us examine our own ideas about adultery, war, homosexuality, prejudice, marriage, birth, and death. My Grandmother Danced appeals to readers who take pleasure not only in a solid story but also in pondering the whys and wherefores of a book’s characters just as we do the motivations and actions and consequences in our own lives.
REMEMBER THE SABBATH
Sylvia Haffner Grunewald, Sunday, June 4, 1933
On this, our day of rest,
our day of remembering the Sabbath
to keep it holy,
I’m ashamed to say
all of my remembering was on last night.
(Who’d have guessed
that readin’ the Bible could be romantic?)
To all appearances, it was a typical Sunday.
Same as always,
I watched from the choir loft
as Will and Sebastian
Then Will joined me up there,
before the morning preaching.
we all went to Sunday School.
Then home for dinner,
which was barely over before
we were walking back
for Evening Service.
I swear there’s a path
worn in the sidewalks
from our apartment
on Sacramento Boulevard
up Flournoy Street
to the church door.
Then, finally, as usual, to bed,
but not, this time, to rest.
The essays, poems and reflections in this book were written by individuals who form part of the Into the Woods Writers’ Circle in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. This circle of scribes met for the first time in early 2016. We found each other in response to a public call to form a community of like minded writers who would come together monthly to elevate the writing experience through shared readings of our professional works.
HE LEFT US
Josephine Grazziano Grunewald, April 16, 1945 Chicago Illinois
Sebastian was my heart, my soul, my husband,
father of my child,
my dreamer, My Dream.
He left Emmy everything she’ll ever need,
his angular face, his long, slender, guitar-picking fingers,
his inquisitiveness, his wit, his goodhearted nature.
He left his mother free of the debt he’d carried
so bravely and silently and secretly for her.
He left her knowing she’d raised a good and noble man.
He left me with memories too good to be true.
Are they true? The marriage, the love?
He left me Emmy, my reason for staying alive.
He left us papers, covered with
sketches and watercolor paintings.
Proof he was.
Proof he was here.
Poof, he was gone.
Louisiana Inklings celebrates the literary and cultural diversity to be found in Louisiana and showcases the talents of some of the state’s finest “small name” writers. Here you’ll find poetry, short fiction, transcendent memoir, imaginative essays, and stand-alone chapters from novels in progress. Written with verve and talent; spiced with that good old Louisiana flavor.
Eve Brouwer is a transplanted northerner. “In Chicago,” she says, “I wrote brisk press releases and full-of-wind advertisements and cold science textbooks. In Louisiana, I breathe thick air, clasp a sweaty pen, and on damp paper write tales of minor incidents and burning passions that propel us through our lives.
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