Today, we’re writing about grandparents. We’re focusing on becoming one, being one or one of your grandparents.


Alternatively, write a “grand” poem. A grand = $1000, it’s a kind of piano, it’s a stand-up person, a mensch. Grand Canyon, the Grand Hotel, Grand Theft Auto… think outside of the cube-like cardboard container!




  1. I hadn’t thought about those darn goats in years!

    As Yet Untitled

    My grandma lived in a two bedroom
    shiplap house that was halfway up
    the biggest hill in town.

    She sold parakeets and canaries
    in the big bedroom. She slept
    in a little room off the kitchen.

    Grandma had rabbits. Every Sunday
    there was one less — cooked them
    in a black pot on an iron stove.

    There was an old rusty Ford, buried
    axel deep, behind the chicken shed.
    The goats stood on it.

    I could jump on the Ford’s roof as long
    as I didn’t scare the goats, and it was ok
    to plant dandelions in her veg garden.

    My other grandma wore a fur coat.

  2. PER IL MIO POPPI, by Walter J Wojtanik

    Teach me aged one,
    show me the ways of life!
    I am very young and you are
    here to guide me in this world.

    Times they are changing,
    yet it is all so new to me.
    I depend on you to be.
    Teach me aged one.

    Soon you will become
    too old and I will be
    prepared to care for you.
    Show me the ways of life!

    I cherish your gentility.
    You have given me so much
    and I wish to give to you now.
    I am very young and you are

    most deserving to be cared
    for and celebrated. I am
    elated that it was you who was
    here to guide me in this world.

    *PER IL MIO POPPI (For My Poppi)

  3. .

    Grand Concepts

    Grand gestures
    are not needed.
    Small, quiet kindnesses
    are more useful.

    Don’t mess around.
    Whatever you are doing,
    do the hell out of it.

    Recalling my first
    meditation ,
    there is nothing to


    My old granny waxed wanton and free
    and was busy as bees, usually,
    but if into her body
    went a sip of hot toddy,
    she became just as calm as could be.

  5. This challenge is special to me since my grandparents raised me. I believe to this day that God made it happen the way it did because of the prayers of my grandmother. And I believe that I am a better man, a better husband, a better father, and a better grandfather because of my grandparents. This is just a small glimpse into my grandparents and what they did for me and what they meant to me. Hope you enjoy.

    Stepped In

    They stepped into my life when my dad stepped out
    Mom had too many problems with too many of us
    My older brother had moved out two years before
    And now I wanted so much to join him

    A two week summer vacation before the 1st grade
    I quickly fell in love with the simple country life
    No sharing beds, fighting, or smoking babysitters
    That is, if we had a babysitter in the first place

    When Mom came down for me to take me home
    I had no intention of leaving this wonderful place
    So I ran and hid in my grandmother’s garden
    From there snuck my way into the woods

    I could hear Grampy Earl and mother talking
    He said they would let me stay with them
    After all, my brother needed someone to fight with
    Surprisingly mom agreed to sign me over

    Grampy Earl became the father I never had and
    Gram became my much needed prayer warrior
    They raised me in love and gave me so much
    By example they both showed me how to live

    Oh, we were dirt poor, but I didn’t know it
    I had what I needed and much more than that
    A warm home, my own bed, and food in my belly
    But most of all I had the best grandparents ever

    The years in the country passed one to the next
    In the meantime mom made a complete turnaround
    Dad never did wake up from his selfish stupor
    Some people just aren’t meant to be parents

    My Grandfather was an extremely godly man
    I don’t think I ever heard him say a bad word
    And Gram was the glue that kept things together
    Especially when Grandpa started having issues

    To church every Wednesday and twice on Sundays
    I was introduced to Jesus and He became my Lord
    A Bible was always open as Grandma would read
    The message of the Truth and the Life and the Way

    When I was a Freshman my Grampy Earl died
    He told Gram he loved her as he did every night
    Quietly he rolled over and drifted off to sleep
    I know when he woke he was standing at The Gate

    Twenty-eight years later Gram took the same trip
    I’m sure they’re both waiting on me to arrive
    Oh, the lessons the taught me I’ve held on for life
    And passed many on to my kids and grandchildren

    Now I’m Grampy Earl with grandchildren to love
    And I do and I will for as long as I live
    It’s an honor that not all are able to claim and
    I thank my grandparents for showing me how

  6. Dear Mom and Dad,

    Having devoted grandparents made my childhood something special. Holidays were spectacular, with wall-to-wall cousins and outstanding meals — Irish on one side; Italian on the other. Summertime meant choosing a cousin to spend a few nights at Grandma and Grandpa’s. I suppose you probably knew, but we were kind of given free reign, and ice cream and nonpareils rained freely. Those were fun years of my life. I miss the years, and I miss my grandparents.

    I don’t miss them like my kids miss you. We didn’t have the special closeness my kids had with you … the kind where they weren’t sure they could ever live without you. The kind where they spent their lives fearing the inevitable. The kind that took special grace from God to go on in the wake of losing you both within 35 days of each other. The kind that begs, “Just one more day. Just one more conversation. Just one more hug.” The kind that made their lives richer for the living, a bit shattered in the leaving, and grateful for every shared moment.

    A love worth the loss.
    This is who I want to be
    To my granddaughters.

    © Marie Elena Good, 2019

  7. An Introduction to My Grandparents

    I grew up in hilly Pennsylvania countryside
    close to both sets of grandparents.

    Grandpa Shannon
    Born nearby in the mountains
    in what is now the State Game Lands.
    Twelve years older than Grandma.
    Spit tobacco. Tightly squeezed our hands.
    Grew the best strawberries, lots of them.
    Used a rake handle for a cane.
    Once worked on the railroad. Liked to tease.

    Dad used to tell the story of Grandpa
    asking Dad what he wanted on his sandwich.
    When Dad said, “Anything,”
    Grandpa put Noxzema on it.

    Grandma Shannon
    Born in the hills of Kentucky.
    A large, kind woman who wore housedresses.
    Her glasses magnified her eyes to look like an owl.
    Liked to go to church and play the organ.
    Had a big collie named Laddie.

    My sisters were my baby sitters, but once
    Grandma Shannon came to our house
    to stay with me, while Mom was somewhere.
    When Grandma did the dishes, I found a towel
    for her. She wondered why Mom kept them
    back in the hall closet. I didn’t know what to tell her.
    I still don’t know why Mom kept them back there.

    Pappap Hurst
    Lively with a twinkle in his eye, whistled bob white.
    Came up to visit in the mornings with candy in his pockets.
    Took us on hayrides with his tractor pulling a cart.
    Laughed like Santa, “Ho, ho, ho!”
    A carpenter, he smelled of sawdust and hand lotion.

    One time, I tagged along with him
    when he went to a farm to buy a chicken.
    They chopped its head off and it ran.
    From then on, when someone used the phrase
    “like a chicken with its head chopped off”
    I knew exactly what they meant.

    Pappap grew up on a cotton plantation in Alabama.
    He and his brothers picked cotton.
    One day, to make their quota,
    they stuffed Pappap in one of the cotton bags.
    They all got in trouble for that one.

    Grandma Hurst
    Grandma was born in England and now I
    have the picture of her at three years old
    when she came over to the United States.
    Always sick, she sat in a big highbacked chair
    like a throne. I played at her feet while Mom
    helped Pappap take care of her.

    One day ambulance people hauled
    Grandma off on a stretcher.
    I squeezed against the stair railing
    for them to get by. Later, Dad held me up
    to see her sleeping in her casket.

    Pappap had a ladyfriend named Mrs. G.
    They never married, but he drove the fourteen miles
    to her house every evening (almost till the day he died)
    and didn’t come home till the middle of the night.
    My aunt said no one should ever buy his car because
    it would drive back and forth to Johnstown by itself.

    I really had it good to get to know my grandparents.
    My kids only knew theirs from short trips to
    Wyoming and Pennsylvania from Colorado,
    except for a three-year period we moved back to PA.
    Now single and in their 30’s, I’m still waiting
    for them to get with the program.

  8. Family gathers round Grandma’s braided rug
    When the Christmas clock tolls midnight
    Santa has come and gone
    No need to wait
    Get up
    To unwrap presents one at a time
    Till all are gone, tree
    Grandma says she’s tired
    Let’s go to

    I thought I had posted this already . . .

  9. Gram

    She was not grand, this humble woman
    No large house or fancy clothes
    Her fashions hadn’t changed since the ‘30s –
    Black shoes that tied, with a sturdy heel,
    Marcel waves in her hair and a cotton house dress
    Modest and frugal, she never forgot the years of struggle
    She baked and canned, made soup and dandelion greens
    And shared all she had with neighbors in need
    Yet she was a wise and compassionate example
    For all the generations that were fortunate enough
    To learn from her

  10. I love reading all these grandparent memories! I don’t have many of my own grandparent memories. My poem was written about my husband’s grandmother, who we lived next door to for many years.

  11. I can’t seem to leave this one alone.

    My Grandma Wore Mink

    The sheets. The folded towels.
    Even the pink toilet paper
    was scented lavender.
    She wore every base and treble
    note of purple. Lived in it.
    She smelled of Avon.

    Grandma added spoonfuls
    of sugar to string beans,
    made dumplings so soft
    angels wanted to sit on them.
    Crystal long-stem glasses
    are for kids, too, she said.

    Grandpa stayed in his workshop.
    Wore a paper bag on his head
    to keep the sawdust out of his
    hair. He kept yellow pencils
    in his pocket — also kept one
    tucked above his ear.

    My other grandma could pluck
    a chicken and milk a goat.

  12. Thinking about Grandma’s braided rugs brought me a new realization

    Grandma’s rugs were works of arts
    She used latchhooks before they were “in”
    Red canaries flew through sun-filled skies
    Bluejays rested in a spring-green tree
    Underneath my feet an autumn forest grew
    In brown and rust and gold
    Next to it a quiet lake spread
    In muted greens, blues, and greys
    –My mother painted once upon a time—
    My rugs don’t match Grandma’s
    And I can’t draw like Mom
    But I color with paints
    They’re works of art
    Brought to life with brush pens
    My pictures hang in rooms
    Displayed online
    Colors, my family, and me

  13. Grand Hotel – 1932

    Despite lush, plush furnishings
    and manner, the Grand Hotel
    had secrets that befell
    individual guests, ranging
    from melancholic, to fearful
    to dead. Barons were gamblers,
    ballerinas–aging prima donnas.
    Accountants dying, money flying,
    cheaters, fleecers, Kings

    of Industry sans scruples,
    with stenographers as their willing
    pupils. Ah, the grandness
    of a hotel–waiters scurrying,
    hurrying to meet needs and whims
    of guests. Tuxedos, gowns,
    chandeliered ballrooms,
    and exotic dinners for under-
    handed sinners. Do not be fooled

    by fancy trimmings. Pass by
    the Grand Hotel with a fond
    wave, and continue on to a less
    luxurious place. All is never
    what it seems.

  14. The Grand Hotel always reminds me of “Somewhere in Time”. My Dad obsessed on that movie. Twenty years without mom made him wish it could happen. I love this poem for that reason and so much more. You captured something special there, Sara!

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