Poetry: My Grandma’s Jinn

as a tiny girl, I’d stare at the pretty bottle
on grandma’s cherrywood dressing table
while she covered my head in foam curlers
so I’d look good for the Lord on Sundays

when she wasn’t looking I’d run pudgy
fingers along its sleek pink sides before
silently tugging at the curved pearl top 
hoping for a peek at its magical elixir

it never gave away its secrets though
and as I grew up and moved far away
thoughts of it faded like my imaginary
friend—lost in the realm of make-believe

grandma died on a Tuesday in October
while I knelt in the pumpkin patch pulling
weeds, but it wasn’t until mid-November
the small box arrived covered in stamps

wrapped in several layers of colorful silk
with a scrawled note from grandma saying
“this is for you” was her pretty pink bottle
smelling faintly like rosemary and mint

tenderly I stroke it with tears in my eyes
thinking of kneeled prayers and organ music
before curiosity takes hold and using a knife
from the kitchen, I pry open the sealed top

he springs forth with mystical blue smoke
singing foreign words with a husky bass
directly addressing the lonely parts locked
deep inside my shattered, broken heart

“Kate” he purrs while locking his sapphire
eyes on me, crawling naked across freshly
washed hardwood floors until his hands
grasp mine with a burst of golden sparks

“I’m Katie” I struggle to say through ragged
breath “Kate was my grandma”—I don’t say
she was a devout Christian who would never
keep a naked man of blue smoke in a bottle

pulling himself to his full height he laughs
like a thousand brass chimes in the wind
like the roaring of the sky before a storm
like all the words inside me spoken at once

“Kate was my lover and I her faithful jinn
but after two wishes she trapped me within
to await the perfect time when I would be free
to dance with my love along the foamy sea”

confused by his musical words, I inch back
muttering softly “she died” while looking
at anything but the fierce intensity of his
piercing eyes—”she left the bottle to me”

salty ocean air floats through open windows
calling me to run on sandy shores barefooted
as waves swell and crash, swell and crash until
falling backward I land in his strong blue arms

thick perfumed smoke billows around us
folding me into his warm embrace as it always 
has been and always will be—his sultry soft lips
brush my ear whispering “what do you wish?”

  • Inspired by my grandma Kate and the film “Three Thousand Years of Longing”

27 thoughts on “Poetry: My Grandma’s Jinn

  1. This is a beautiful ‘love story’ – it drew me in straight away and I found it very emotive. I too thought of I Dream of Jeannie, as your last commenter said. I remember my grandmother having little bottles similar to this one. I could never get the tops off either! I wonder if they had a blue genie in them. Lovely story, Bridgette … Ellie Xx 🦢🌷💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, my mind has just sped off on a completely weird, random tangent, but that last bit makes me wonder > .> What if Kate had made some crazy complex wish that like keeps her soul in an endless cycle of reincarnation and every like other generation, there is a Kate in the family, so that she can keep her affair with the Jinn going and…. I dunno. Ignore my crazy talk. I can’t not be amused by the line “I don’t say she was a devout Christian who would never
    keep a naked man of blue smoke in a bottle”. That really tickles me for some reason. xD

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a super cool idea! A way to keep loving an immortal being is to bypass the rule of the Jinn (you can’t become immortal), but instead make it a kind of reincarnation thing. That’s got some real potential!

      I had a feeling that Christian line might make you chuckle. I found it funny myself!


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