(... from the early 19th century Urdu & Persian... from pay 'leg' + jama 'clothing.')
My grandma had a shelf of books at the top of the stairs in the house in Connecticut where I first knew her, books with covers and pages cut to the shape of three naughty kittens who'd lost their mittens, and three little pigs shoring up their various walls against the huffs and puffs of a wolf, or the peak of a roof beneath which ruffles gave a glimpse of such sharp teeth... She made the most wonderful sugar cookies, saucer-sized and bejeweled with raisins; her hands were truly as soft as silk.
It's been raining for days and I miss my Grandma. Something about the continual burble and poik on the roof and against the windows, my eyes bleary from tears, and the bubble of the percolator we woke to, my brother and I in bunk-beds. I would like to lounge around in silk pajamas, but I can't take my kids to the library like that, nor run for more milk or apples, nor teach my classes.
I love the way storms sweep across the face of still waters. She slipped away from me like that; already too far, then beyond far. Her voice is still in my ear. And the beautiful script of her cursive trekking across snowy pages folded in my desk. That was the last day of winter.
In summer, we all smile together in moments when we catch glimpses of harbor seals, their smooth dark Labrador heads, the ripples they make just in their moments of sliding under.
With April on its way, I thought I'd start something...