Family Tree

Yesterday I heard,
“Grandma is sick. She’s in the hospital.”
And a peculiar feeling washed over me.
Sympathy for a fellow human in pain,
General concern for a family member—
Passing emotions, gone in a flash.

Two warring sides:
A dutiful granddaughter,
A distant grandmother.
How do I be a proper granddaughter
When I had no proper grandmother?
Irony.

No past shared, but oh how it dictates
The future.
Rippling from grandmother to mother
To daughter.
A history of pain and abandonment
That I can only imagine.

So I harden my heart.
Let it be frigid and unyielding.
I harbor no ill will towards her,
But I sow no deeper roots.
Shared blood alone does not engender
An innate bond.

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