Grandma Henry’s Chapel by Kris Beaver

Grandma Henry’s Chapel

A narrow row of rose bushes separated
her driveway from her reclusive neighbor’s.

Along that meager pew, Grandma knelt
and needled god, broke apart hard, dark

clots of soil with garden-gloved hands,
battled black rot and powdery mildew.

Despite Grandma’s devotion to a can of Raid,
her rose bushes were sticky with aphids.

But their ruby, yellow and coral blossoms remained
unblemished souls full of fragrance.

Now and then, Grandma left a bouquet
in a tin can of water on her neighbor’s porch.

The next evening, she’d find a small, handmade card
slipped behind her screen door grille.

She displayed the cards on the kitchen sink windowsill
where they grew suds-splashed and faded.

Once, I saw about a dozen ladybugs
whiz up from Grandma’s rose bushes and land

on her freckled, thorn-scratched arms.
She didn’t brush them away. They graced

her skin just long enough, then flew off
on invisible highways to other blessings.

By Kris Beaver

Editor’s Note: Careful couplets separate the narrative of this poem, creating an ode to a woman’s quiet life and the moments of communion that can be found in the most unexpected places.

2 thoughts on “Grandma Henry’s Chapel by Kris Beaver

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