Bà – A Poem for Grandmothers

I was laying in bed the other night, thinking about a book. Not any one in particular. Just a physical book, how its weight rests in my hands, how its worn, wrinkly pages feel under my fingertips, how it smells (yes, I’m a shameless book-sniffer), when I realized that books have a lot in common with people. Especially old people and old books. Both reveal countless stories when you really get to know them. Both contain hidden tales from the many lives that have touched them. Both are soft, fragile, and smell wonderfully sweet (in my experience.) The list goes on.

Lists are boring, so I decided to write a poem. I haven’t had the honor of getting acquainted with any old people other than my Vietnamese grandmother, whom I call Bà, so I wrote the poem with her in mind.

The beauty of poems is that you can read it with your grandmother in mind.

Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland

Her skin creases like a book’s spine.

Revealing deep within,

A story glowing from words of sunshine.


Her hair curls like tear-stained pages,

Once creamy, edged in gold,

Now grey through the passing ages. 


Her embrace smells like fresh ink,

That lingers on always,

Pleasant as a warming drink.


Her smile glows like the best of stories,

That thrills you to no end,

And gently softens all your worries.


Her wisdom is like words,

Delightful little gems,

Great honors to be heard.


Her life is like the best tale ever told,

Inspiring from the start,

And the greatest pleasure to watch unfold.

4 thoughts on “Bà – A Poem for Grandmothers

    1. Aw, thank you, that’s so sweet. Sadly poems are one of those things that are extremely difficult to translate, but I try to convey my love to her in other ways. 🙂


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