side is broken out now. The piece lies in the bottom of the goblet
waiting for me to find time to repair it. It had survived intact
for who knows how many years, one of only two tangible remembrances
of a grandmother I never knew very well. I remember how, on our
rare visits to her house, she always drank her buttermilk from
this particular goblet plain crystal with a ball like a
big marble at the center of the stem. I can see her long, thin,
and gnarled fingers worrying with the glass as we talked at the
father took that goblet as a remembrance when she died. There
were few possessions for the six children to divide. I took the
goblet when my father died, along with a quilt top she pieced.
lately have I begun to wonder about the significance of the goblet.
Was it perhaps the one fine possession remaining after chance
had robbed her of everything but her children? When she drank
from it every day did it remind her of the beloved husband she
had lost and with whom she had shared a comfortable life? Was
it somehow a magic talisman to transport her at the end of the
day away from the drudgery she undertook to sustain her family?
I know the goblet knows.
kept it on my mantle and communed with it daily. And foolishly
allowed grandchildren to use it as a candy dish. One of them had
an accident with it. I should have known it would happen. He and
I both cried.
now I wonder if there is symbolism in the breaking of the goblet.
Perhaps, in its shattered state, the goblet is even more representative
of my grandmothers shattered life, which somehow could never
be mended: shards lovely in themselves but lacking form, surviving
but without the ability to fulfill its potential, enduring but
Dunn has lived in Franklin, Tennessee, for thirty years. She
grew up in south Louisiana and has deep family roots in northeast
Texas. She was formerly on the staff of Franklin's The Review