By Gloria Bares, Author of A Bionic Woman, her book of memoirsOn many Saturday mornings
I sit with my grandmother, Mimi,
on the porch outside her flat
in Los Angeles, California,
enjoying our favorite breakfast:
fresh raspberries I call “garnets”
dolloped with whipped cream
and just a little cereal on top.
This is our time to talk.
She tells me about her life
when she was seven years old, like me.
Her name was Coral Marie Farrier,
her childhood days spent on the family farm
in the Dakota Territories during the l880s.
They grew Durham wheat
so tall she could hide among stalks of the sun-gold grain
or run around and in-between
the sky-high piles of sheaves.
Her friends were the farm animals—
chickens, roosters, pigs, two cows, two sheep, and a dog.
Mimi tells me there were also hard times on the farm—
sometimes little money,
a child seriously ill,
food running low,
a family member injured.
Yet . . .
she says, smiling mysteriously, her eyes shining,
those times birthed the legend of the prairie basket.
When someone’s spirits needed a lift,
a very large wicker basket would appear on their doorstep,
decorated and filled with what they needed.
No one knew who sent it.
The receiver kept the basket
until she learned of another who could use a boost.
Redecorated and refilled,
it was secretly passed on
to another’s doorstep.
Mimi’s story of her altruistic farm community
awakened within me
the first seeds of compassion,
growing and slowly blossoming,
like the legend of the Prairie Basket.
And I smile.
Gloria Bares was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1932. Gloria is proud to publish her new book of memoir poems as a legacy for her family. Purchase A Bionic Woman II on Amazon and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.