Tea With Nan

RDP Thursday: Penumbra

Andrea Kowch ” Soiree”

I was taught

how to take my tea

how to start a conversation and end one too.


I was taught

table manners

how to speak clearly, to read at least one book a month

to be a lady even if

I never wore high heels or fancied up my hair

by my Great Grandmother

who I called Nan.


My Great Grandmother told me, at tea

her father died by drowning.

He slid off of an icy path, hit his head.

He never had a chance, she said, to fight death when it came.

Her eyes were as hard and flat as stones when she told me

her story.


I remember the edges of her mouth were turned down-

was it disgust? Anger? I don’t know.

I wouldn’t have dared to ask.


But that one moment

the story about that death

by drowning, when it was snowing

cast half shadows across every page I have ever written

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