One Single Impression: Childhood Memories

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This rice bowl
Translucent as baby skin

Is painted inside and out with


A splendid little bowl,

It is cracked in three places

And broken in one.

I imagine somebody bumped it

Years ago while helping with the dishes.

So many things break

In conversations

At the kitchen sink.

At my grandmother's,

There were so many of us and so much being said….

It happened.

My grandmother used brown glue to set it right, and

The repair work holds after four decades.

My grandmother would have turned glued side

To the wall.

You never would have known.

You would have wondered

How she came by so many beautiful things.

This bowl is mine.

I keep the cracked side

Not quite to the wall.

I like to see it.

And remember how rich as a queen my grandmother was

And how I helped with the dishes

and knew

and it was all okay--

perfect, really.

One Single Impression


  1. Sandy, aren't grandmothers wonderful! From my early childhood I remember my grandmother the most of all the relatives.
    It was nice that the bowl could be rescued, these memories were all pleasant before and after the repair.

  2. What a perfect tribute and wonderful sharing of memories of your grandmother and childhood. Lovely!

  3. Anonymous2:43 AM

    What a cherished memory of a grand mother!

    alpha and omega

  4. How wonderful to have such loving memories of your beloved grandmother.

  5. That is a really special bowl. You don't see them like that every day.
    I was thinking of my grandmother yesterday. How she kept the family together, how we used to play scrabble on Christmas night with all the aunts and uncles and cousins and how we used to joke that we were really the royal family in disguise because she looked and behaved a but like the old queen (who is of very humble descent). She used to make everything right. Since she died the family fell apart like loose sand.
    When I was small i once ate at her house out of a porcelain bowl that had rice grains encrusted in the porcelain, I remember how amazed I was at the transparency and I thought it must be very valuable, everyone laughed. Since then I have seen hundreds, thousands of those blue porcelain bowls. But I still like them.

  6. Beautiful picture and reminder of a wonderful lady...

  7. Anonymous8:56 AM


    It's amazing how a single item can bring a loved one to mind and heart. We never really let go do we? Especially remembering the words, "it's okay". I often remember my own grandmother saying the same words. I hear them still, whenever I am troubled.

  8. What a wonderful piece, Sandy! I have very fond memories of my grandmothers, and many of them involve the kitchen!

  9. Ooops, I forgot to mention that your link on OSI has an extra DOT in the url, so you may want to delete it, refresh the page and re-enter it!

  10. wonderful... oddly enough one of my best and strongest childhood memories come not from any family but the neighbor lady who always woudl let me sit in her kitchen while she cooked and she always had some sort of treat for me either a yeast roll (homemade of course) or a popscicle or something wonderful from her kichen.

  11. What a beautiful memory - and also the way you shared it.
    And I thank you for sharing it.

    It took me a minute to figure out what the photo was. All came clear after reading your lovely poem.

  12. Lovely memories. Gentle and treasured.
    By the way, your OSI link isn't working.

  13. Anonymous12:46 PM

    a lovely poem and memory... unless you are the metaphor bowl.

  14. Anonymous4:00 PM

    what a great memory and to be able to still recall them is a welcome thought

  15. That's the magic to be grandmother , or at least, grandchildren. Memories. They're always fantastic , a kind of tacit secret bond between one another.
    Grandmothers rarely reprimand; they're just here to realize great things, that grandchildren will never forget, and will keep with nostalgy like treasures.

  16. memories make our life worth living!

  17. Little things can sure bring us back!
    Thank You for sharing this.

  18. Such a beautiful poem & rememberance - all arising from a pretty little dish.

  19. Hopefully, you will pass that on to your daughter WITH the story. What memories!!!!!!

  20. Anonymous11:45 AM

    Oh how beautiful and touching this one is-I love it!! I was blessed to have 2 grandmothers like that and my girls are blessed to have 2 now. I hope someday I'll be a wonderful grandmother too.

  21. Dear Sandy--
    What a tribute!
    And...I would bet anything your on your way to being such a blessing to the next generations...

    Thank you for your consistently beautiful work.

  22. Anonymous1:31 PM

    .."It is cracked in three places
    And broken in one" still "A splendid little bowl"
    _holding all the love ..many thanks..

  23. A superb memory and metaphor for moving on. Lovely!

  24. Anonymous8:31 AM

    This has all the poignancy of a treasured childhood memory. I liked the way you used the bowl as a springboard and what was unsaid in difference between yours and your grandmother's attitudes to the cracks. There's so much in this poem.

  25. It's a beautiful bowl and a beautiful memory!

  26. This is a wonderful poem, I could read it over and over. It has so much depth and love shining from every word.

  27. Just beautiful. Your words have really touched my heart. I have many old items that belonged to my grandmother. They remind me every day of how wonderful she was. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Anonymous9:42 PM

    so much is shared over the sink washing dishes... love the line your grandmother as a queen!!

  29. unconditional love and acceptance -- what a wonderful memory.

  30. an extraordinary photo and poem!

  31. Love how your memory unravels little by little, perhaps as you look at each individual image on the rice bowl!

  32. Anonymous9:38 AM

    What a wonderful poem. The memory of standing next to grandma with the sink full of warm soapy water and the relationship was very real. Nice write.


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