Would she recognize her granddaughter in her jewelry | Hanna Ketting

Wearing her earrings
I think of her,
and wonder what parts of me were in her own reflection.

Of hers, I have nothing but the sorrow
that’s been whispered,
and these—

Silver studs and gold hoops,
blue-green stones from Mexico,
an empty locket,
and rosary beads.

I imagine her as she once was,
when her jewelry was her own.
Did she treasure them as I do?
Or is it her death that makes them special?

When it happened, did they ache at their loss,
and grow silent,
waiting to be worn again?

Now mine,
I wonder,
do they know I, too, am hers?


Writer’s Commentary

Would she recognise her granddaughter in her jewelry is about my biological grandmother, a woman I never met. She suffered from bipolar disorder and took her own life a month before I was born. This poem is actually the first poem that came to me completely, like Athena from Zeus. I was wearing the gold hoops and then looked in the mirror—then sprung the poem. I often wonder what she was like. This poem helps me handle those feelings.

Hanna Ketting is a bee-enthusiast, hiker, yogi, avid reader, & poet. She lives in NYC.