The Thinking 

Grandma’s Rosary

October 1, 2017


Portrait of a Widow at her Devotions, Leandro Bassano


When Grandma goes to say her Beads
For all our family and our needs,
She sweetly says to me: “My dear,
Play nicely with your dollies here
Until I call. Then come to me,
And bring your little Rosary.”
I help her (Grandma says it’s true)
With Aves ten, when she’s most through.

She lays her hand, her gentle way,
Upon my head. “When children pray,”
She says, “The guardian angels take
The whispered Aves, and they make
(They do, indeed, right then and there)
The loveliest rosebud of each prayer:
Some rosebuds white, some rosebuds red,—
Red as the lips the Aves said.
Then, with the posy, off they fly,
Those happy angels, to the sky.”

And all that Grandma says is true
I see it in her eyes—so blue
And clear and deep and kind—
That look right into mine, and find
Those thoughts that can not see a way
To get out in the words I say.

I see her sitting over there
In her old-fashioned rockingchair,—
The place (so I’ve heard father say)
She taught her babies how to pray.
And now the rosy altar light
(She keeps it burning day and night)
Sends rays that give the softest kiss
To her gray head — like this and this.


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