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Dedicated to my nôhkom, Gramma Loretta

By Jen GossooPublished about a year ago Updated 2 months ago 2 min read
Photo by Danie Franco on Unsplash

Nôhkom has a blue trailer by the Nicola River.

It don’t feel like a trailer inside.

Nôhkom smokes but don’t open no windows.

I can’t smell a cigarette without thinking of her.

Nôhkom has a garden.

She shows us grandkids how to pinch peapods off the stalk.

Nôhkom knows the coyotes over the fence.

She throws them bones from her marrow stew.

Nôhkom serves orange Tang from a can,

And Kool-Aid Jell-O on white porcelain.

Nôhkom has a box of jellybeans that never empties.

She collects my drawings like some folk collect stamps.

Nôhkom has a small brown face,

And eyes the color of creekbed clay.

Nôhkom looks light as a straw doll that the wind could carry,

But I seen her chase a griz in her mocs, bangin' on a trash can lid.

That was some skookum bear, she tells us later.

He was after my saskatoons!

I don’t think my nôhkom minds, really,

Those skookum bears eating her saskatoons.

Nôhkom seen lights in the sky, once.

She lost them in the dark over Candy Mountain.

Nôhkom never spoke of spirits or spacemen,

But she weren't the only woman in my family to see lights.

Nôhkom explains about the valley hoodoos:

Men and women turned to earth by the Creator.

My teacher tells it different: erosion and sediment rock.

I like how Nôhkom tells it better.

I reckon Nôhkom cried when Papa died,

But nobody'd let me see.

I sat in the hall and ate green Jell-O from a cup.

It didn't taste half as good as Nôhkom's.

Nôhkom had eight daughters.

One daughter became my mother.

One daughter became an angel.

Six others became my aunties, women who laugh and holler and cuss like Nôhkom.

My nôhkom loved hummingbirds.

My nôhkom read Where the Wild Things Are in five voices.

My nôhkom showed me a jig in her kitchen, wearing a kerchief when the chemo took her hair.

It ended with "gibraltar."

love poemsinspirational

About the Creator

Jen Gossoo

🇨🇦 Canadian Storyteller

♾️ Metis Nation

🎓 UVic Alumni 2020

Writing published by Kingston Writers Press, Young Poets of Canada, Morning Rain Publishing, & the BC Metis Federation to teach Michif in Canadian schools.

✨YA Magical Realism✨

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (17)

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  • Teresa Renton2 days ago

    A bit late to the party but wanted to congratulate you on your win! Your attention to detail, to imagery, brought your nonkom to life beautifully. I also loved the humour— ‘But I seen her chase a griz in her mocs, bangin' on a trash can lid’ and it’s contrast with the previous lines, was clever and had me chuckling. Well done you 🥳

  • Naveed4 days ago

    Kudos! Keep excelling in your work—congratulations!

  • Tiffany Gordon 16 days ago

    gorgeous work! Congratulations!!

  • Alexis Wellmaker16 days ago

    Congratulations! ~ This work is a beautiful and touching way to remember and honor your grandmother.❤️

  • Katarzyna Popiel17 days ago

    I absolutely love this one and feel that your first place is well deserved. Don't we all need grandmothers like this!

  • Naveed17 days ago

    Congratulations! Keep up the great work!"❤👌👍

  • Steve Murphy17 days ago

    Congratulations! A well-deserved first place. Stunning and poignant, so much heart, blew me away!

  • Zara Blume17 days ago

    This is a stunning tribute to your nôhkom, and I now feel like I know her.

  • Shirley Belk17 days ago

    So loved this part: women who laugh and holler and cuss! I thought you met my family :) Congrats!!!!

  • Loved it the first time I read it. Love it just as much now. Congratulations, Jen!

  • Babs Iverson17 days ago

    Beautifully written!!! Congratulations on the win!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Cathy holmes17 days ago

    Congrats Jen. This is beautiful.

  • F Cade Swanson17 days ago


  • Mackenzie Davis17 days ago

    Congratulations on winning!! Love this poem, as you know. ❤️👏🎊

  • Caroline Jane17 days ago

    Congratulations!!! This was delightful!

  • Hannah Moore17 days ago

    This is so evocative, such richness. Congratulations.

  • Mackenzie Davis5 months ago

    I feel gutted after this. Such a vulnerable read. I really really love your writing style, the imagery you chose to include in this poem, the way you grouped the lines in each stanza. It's so so gorgeous. ❤️

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