Poem by Kelly Madigan
May 15, 2023
Sleeping in My Daughter's House
At the foot of the bed is a cedar chest, one my grandmother gave to me in my twenties. Some called them hope chests, packed them with staples needed for setting up house. This is the child that tried to come early, pinning me to the orange floral couch bought on payments from Sears, holding still to delay her premature exit from her first house. Ecology comes from the Greek word for household, where we live. My grandmother wrote me letters when I was on bedrest, telling me her news, sending her wish that she could be beside me. The baby came early, ready to start, and later my grandmother left her house for another, and we all visit the marker and see to it there are flowers, and my daughter, the seamstress, has grown and makes her own household now with the music-maker, and they love the old things, the quilts, the vinyl records. It’s my first night sleeping in their new house, decades after she arrived with perfect timing, and Grandma Effie’s hope is as solid as ever, an unshakable cedar force right at my feet, able to store everything needed to arrive here and live your life.
About Kelly Madigan
Kelly Madigan is a writer with roots in both Iowa and Nebraska. She is an advocate for conservation in the Loess Hills and teaches creative writing workshops with an environmental focus through Larksong Writers Place.