Personal Essays

Assisted Living

Grandma's Boat Clear

Assisted Living

I remember last spring, one particular visit with my 87 year-old grandma. Although she was a skilled watercolorist, her hands were no longer able to control the brush handles the way she liked. But she was still creating.

After she discovered I was a student of poetry and working on my writing, she said: “Bethany, I didn’t know you wrote poetry. Well, why shouldn’t you? I didn’t take my first painting lesson until I was 70.”

Now, I walk down my shadowed hall, and see the painting I inherited: Thrashing, steely-teal waves match a foreboding sky. On top of them a little, black ship’s tilting its chin upward. I squint to make out the lettering across its starboard side:
“Morning Star.”

And I pick up my pen.

This was written in response to the writing prompt on Literary Mama, called “Writing Prompt, Words that Stick,” written by Dina Relles. Painting by Lucille “Lucy” Schneider from June 4, 2003


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