Losing Grandma

a child walking next to a monument

I don’t remember Grandma’s death. The only flash of memory is a snippet of conversation, and a flash of grief and concern on Mom’s face.

My most clear memory of Grandma: she would squeeze my cheeks between her index and middle fingers and then twist. Simultaneously, her Calabrais face in mine, she’s say, ”La Bella!”

I still feel my cheeks ache!

Evidently, I didn’t take her death well. I didn’t understand that she was gone, or so Mom would tell me. She became so concerned that she bought the book “When People Die.” I sat on her lap as she read me the picture book cover to cover that night.

“I should have let you attend the funeral,” Mom often said afterward.

It would have made no difference. But how could I tell her, then, what took me so long to understand?

fallen leaves
her faded photograph
her sole remains


photo by Samuel Zeller


Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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