Grandma N was born on a tobacco farm in Eastern North Carolina in 1922. I have written about her previously in “She Walked in Beauty“.
In 1994 she sent me up a file with a bunch of her poems she had written over her lifetime. Inside are hand drawn sketches to accompany the poems, which I will include with each piece.
The first I wanted to share is probably one of my favorites, because she wrote it about Grandpa and it shows her sense of humour.
I’m going to keep the preamble to a minimum in this series, as I believe each piece stands on its own.
MY TOBACCO CHEWING MAN
[note indicates written 1980]
The first thing in the morning
Just as soon as he gets up
He takes a big chew of tobacco
And gets out a big spit cup.
He loves his chewing tobacco
Much more than he does me
But I won’t let that tobacco
Fill me with jealousy.
Off and on all day long
He has to have a chew
If it wasn’t for chewing tobacco
He wouldn’t know what to do.
He sits down in the evening
And takes off his shoes
Then he takes a chew of tobacco
And listens to the news.
He has a spit can by his side
To spit his tobacco in
But once in a while he misses it
And it runs right down his chin.
It really sort of messy
But his joy and pride
Is a mouthful of tobacco
With a spit can by his side.
Sometimes his nose will meet his chin
Sometimes his chin will meet his nose
But that mouthful of tobacco
Thrills him right down to his toes.
I have to play second fiddle
I know just where I stand
The first love of my husband’s life
Is chewing tobacco and a can.
But as long as it’s chewing tobacco
And a great big old spit can
I’ll just tell everybody
He’s my Tobacco Chewing Man.
8 thoughts on “Poetry & Drawings of my Carolina Grandma”
Oh yes, those chewing tobacco. Were I came from older folks chew betel nuts the spit… Love your grandma’s poetry and drawing.
What a great glimpse into your grand parents’ world. The poem brought happy memories of my grand father who would sniff snuff, I remember the colour of his handkerchiefs before and after they were washed :)
;-) Glad I could bring conjure some happy memories. It did for me thinking of Grandpa. Was talking to my Dad on the phone the other night and told him I was posting the 1st of Grandma’s (his Mom) poems…he was surprised anyone would be interested. And yeah, the habit is a messy one.
Your grandma certainly had a sense of humor! You should send it to a chewing tobacco company.
:) not a bad idea…not sure if I want to encourage the practice though…it’s rather gross to watch