This is a children’s story that I have had the idea for quite some time. I started it back in the summer, and put a good chunk of time into it today. I’m nearly finished, and know where I want it to go, but I think I need to give it some more sitting time before I finish the end. This one is a labour of love. My grandma was a strong influence on me when I was a kid. She was a creator through and through. She made everyone in our family multiple quilts throughout her life. As a kid I experienced a ton of nightmares and sleep terror all the way through high-school even, so I thought combining these two aspects of my childhood experience was a great fit. I am aspiring to turn this into an actual children’s book, hopefully sooner rather than later. It will of course be dedicated to my Grandma: Denise Gilligan!
Underneath the kitchen table
Grandmas yellow slippered feet,
tap and whir the sewing machine.
I get to press the pedal, from time to time.
Occasional droppings of corners of blankets.
Bright blue stitchings, and her soft muffled voice way above the table.
I’m lost in her quilting.
Go, go, go, hum,
Sliding, inspection, time, and questions.
“Who’s this one for?” I ask.
“Your mother” she replies.
She tells me mine will have animals.
Enough to fill up a whole zoo!
I want a panda! And a moose! And a lion!
But first, the tulips for Mom.
Go, go, go,
Sprouting, budding, growing, and pop!
One more tulip on the table top.
Bright yellow to go with Grandmas slippers.
Mom’s quilt quickly goes by,
With bright blue edges, and a soft white sky.
wrapped up in it,
On Grandmas lap, she stitches a bit:
“With Love, From Mom ’95”
Another blanket has come alive.
Now the animals for me!
But first some rest, a bite and some tea,
Fuel for the great quilting machine that is Grandma.
She makes me mushroom soup, my favourite!
That night I dream,
Of great big tulips by a stream.
I float along it and see
Deep in the cat tails near the trees
Curved grey antlers, rustling the reeds.
Out pops a Moose, huge as can be!
He lumbers and grazes, and turns towards me.
Locked in our gazes, his hooves in the water,
Moose dips his bearded chin, and blows bubbles.
I get this deep feeling that I might be in trouble!
The stream turns to river, and Moose rushes past,
Suddenly I feel like I’m going too fast!
I’m knocked and I’m churned, I can hardly breathe.
Caught in swift rapids, my heart starts to heave,
When I catch a glimpse of the worst thing of all,
The river is heading to a huge water-fall!
There’s nothing to do. I close my eyes and pray,
that somehow, someway, I’ll wind up OK.
Quickly and swiftly I tip over the ledge,
I fall with the water, my heart on the edge.
Time stands still and I’m falling forever,
surrounded by rushing white,
ears ringing bright,
eyes stinging with light,
this doesn’t feel right.
There is no end to this free fall,
and I don’t think I can breathe at all.
Panicked and fearful, I burst wide awake.
I cry out in tears, I scream and I shake.
Mom comes to save me, and grandma comes too.
Off to the kitchen, some warm milk to brew.
The fifth time this week I’ve had a nightmare.
Boy, did I sure give my mom a scare.
Tucked back in bed, mom pats my head.
I slowly forget my feeling of dread.
Back into dreamland, I quickly fall in.
Soon up in the morning, a new day to begin!
To the table with Grandma, there’s no time to waste.
We get started off right, my quilt all in place.
Grandma begins to stitch,
I help hold things, and fold things, and place out the animals.
It’s a good thing I’m around to help!
We talk, and laugh, and Grandma answers all of my questions.
The day’s work goes by quick,
On my quilt we add a Moose,
and a Lion!
We’re having so much fun.
Though my quilt is not quite done.
Grandma tucks me in to bed that night
“It takes a lot of time to make it right.”
She says, then closes the door and turns out the light.
I hope we’ll be finished by tomorrow.
That night I sleep,
and dream of a Lion making a leap,
Over a river, in search of a meal.
He doesn’t see me, so I try not to squeal.
I hide in the grasses, not making a sound.
Lion turns my way, his head close to the ground.
He stalks towards me, silent and slow.
I’m frozen still, but I think I should go.
He creeps closer and closer, I can see his fur.
His tail is swinging, I can hear him purr.
My heart is beating quite loud in my chest.
I know I can’t move, and I’m trying my best,
But I step on a stick, and make a sharp SNAP.
I lock eyes with Lion, and know I’m in a trap.
I’m panicked and crying as Lion draws near.
I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this much fear.
Then in a quick flash I’m awake in my bed.
My heart is still pounding, I’m still filled with dread.
I call out for Mom, and flick on the light.
I know that she’ll make everything alright.
She sings me to sleep, I drift off right away.
Perhaps just as fast, it’s another new day!
In the kitchen with grandma! There are things to create.
We lay out the quilt, and the animals straight.
Grandma gets to stitching,
I help place the animals, and tie up the thread.
I can’t wait until my quilt’s on my bed!