Grandma’s Hairpin Maple
Grandma’s hairpin slid into her bun with ease.
She might have held up her hairpin
to this hard-working maple
and laughed so hard, she covered her face
with her apron.
She always wore her apron.
“You never know…” she says.
She was so tickled she asked, “And whose
bun do you hold in shape?”
Had Grandma seen the gravel road with Google Earth,
The road that brought her to this maple,
She would have held up her apron again to cover her face.
The Cataloochee Road has one hairpin turn after another for
20 miles—maximum speed 10 mph.
Yes, this is Grandma’s hairpin maple.
Eight times the earth shifted beneath her.
Eight times she swung her hips, just so.
Now with her hips swung with a flirt,
She could rise up straight,
The shortest distance to her Star,
Her love, the source of her light and life.
And in another generation the earth fell to the side again.
And again Grandma’s Hairpin Maple swung her
hips with a flirt.
She did not know that the tectonic plate
beneath her feet used
To live somewhere in Argentina.
“Swing those hips!” the square dance caller hollered.
No one of us knows when the soil and stones
will falter beneath our feet.
Once again Grandma Maple swung her hips.
Maybe this time she swung ‘em and flirt ‘em, and laughed.
How utterly serious we can be about keeping
everything the same.
Maybe that apron Grandma always wore
Is why we love her so dearly, and
Wearing her apron ourselves
Is how we become lovable,
When our usual habit is to become grumpy
when the ground from Argentina shifts once again beneath our
Maybe this time we'll swing ‘em and flirt ‘em, and laugh.
© John Holliger 2013