top of page
Light of my Life by Olivia Henry

At the Foot of My Grandmother's Bed

by Hadley Volner

At the foot of my grandmother’s bed 

A silk bench stood alone 

Its legs nearly crumbled 

Under the weight of death’s exhale 


Propped on its silk pillow 

A large, pristine, gloss-glassed picture faced the dresser 

The golden frame traced with a fresh wreath of carnations 

The outline of her husband smiled through the glass 


I used to curl up at the foot of my grandmother’s bed 

But the cushion was crammed with his frame 

He remained out of sight, a wishful footnote 

She could not bear his glazed features next to hers 

Though she spoke as if he were lying next to her 


"His deserted pillow gathered dust / Only blown away by her yearning sighs / As his frame now occupied my pillow / I took my place at his"

His deserted pillow gathered dust 

Only blown away by her yearning sighs  

As his frame now occupied my pillow 

I took my place at his 


As she whispered her weekly troubles 

The window’s glint illuminated my nods 

But though I slept beside her 

Only her words filled the sheets 


My ears caved 

Heavy with stories of distant friends and a distant God 

She felt each second of silence bring down a crashing pressure 

For a moment her words brought back his presence 


I don’t sleep at the foot of my grandmother’s bed 

I lie next to her as she contorts my features 

I have a white comb-over and milky cataracts 

And when she holds me 

I’m him 


About the Writer...

Hadley Kasia Volner is a freshman at The Willow School in New Orleans, LA, enrolled in the Certificate of Artistry Program. A multi-sport athlete, Hadley ranked in state for the one-mile run in spring 2023, and has been involved in the competitive soccer club, The New Orleans Jesters, for seven years.

About the Artist...

Olivia Henry is a Visual Artist in 11th grade majoring in Photography. While she does like painting as well, photography peaked her interest as she likes to experiment with new mediums. She tends to make pieces involving everyday life, trying to create a sense of living in the moment.

bottom of page