Poetry — 05 May 2012


Ute Carson


On her wedding day my daughter turned to me and said,
“Thank you for giving me a grandmother.”

Through tranquility and turmoil
grandparents bridge the decades
as the oil in their lamps burns low,
their lives no longer in constant motion,
and time is measured by the fleeting seasons.
Grandparents have ears like conch shells
echoing the wishes and woes of the young.
With hearts galvanized by patience and necessity,
they try to protect the next generation
from their own youthful follies.

Grandchildren waste time
as if they had a thousand years.
But the young are free to claim the old.
Together they can peer at the man in the moon,
weave dreams on a magic carpet,
buy the bra that can’t yet be filled,
welcome the strangely attired boyfriend,
and use those ready-made laps as safe perches
when thunder claps and lightning strikes.

Grandparents sing songs
they have stored up inside them
so that their beloved grandchildren can dance.

Ute Carson’s stories and essays have appeared in the US and abroad. Her novel “Colt Tailing” (2004) was a finalist for the Peter Taylor Award for the Novel. “In Transit,” her second novel, was published in 2008 and a poetry collection “Just a Few Feathers,” in 2011. Visit her website.  Recently one of her poems garnered second place in the British Eleventh International Poetry Competition sponsored by FirstWriter.Photo courtesy of Wendell Ramsey.


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(7) Readers Comments

  1. Every time I read this poem I find something new. This is a poem that binds generations. I shall put it away to share with my daughter when she is older.

  2. Wonderful!

  3. Her words paint such a beautiful picture. It’s funny and sweet at the same time!

  4. Dear Ute, I loved reading your poem and my favorite parts were about the bra that can’t yet be filled, the boyfriend in strange attire, and the welcoming laps and the magic carpet make-believe moments, and just the overall feeling of having time and patience to really listen and, most of all, unconditional love from a grandparent to a grandchild that they will remember for a lifetime. Love from Mickey

  5. As I spend more and more time with more and more wonderfully different and fascinating grandchildren, I can only hope to become the grandmother of Ute’s poem. Ute’s very nice poem. It makes me smile in recognition of many emotions.

  6. I am blessed with 7 grandchildren. I am making copies of this poem to give to their parents to pass on to them. My first granddaughter is graduating this year and I am putting a copy in her scrapbook. We have such a strong bond that this poem seemed just about us. Brought tears to my eyes. Loved it.

  7. Ute’s poetic verse captures the instinctiveness & learned lessons from years of practice at
    parenting. Her words remind us of the important role a grandparent plays in the lives of our
    children’s children…

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