01 of 10
Poem From a Proud Grandmother
Oh, that feeling, when you first lay eyes on a newborn grandchild. Is there anything in the world like it? You can't wait to hold and kiss and bond with your grandbaby. The only thing that comes close in deliciousness is telling everyone else about your grandchild. So beware -- this poem is a wee bit tongue-in-cheek, but altogether delightful.
Dear one, I resolve
not to be a foolish grandma
forcing strangers to admire
photograph on photograph,
boring everyone with tales
of how you burp
I'll... just secretly adore
your perfect face,
--Joy Harold Helsing
About the Author: Joy Harold Helsing has worked as a sales clerk, secretary, editor, psychologist and teacher. The former New Englander now lives in Northern California. Her work has appeared in many journals, and she has published three chapbooks and one book, Confessions of the Hare. She is also a very proud grandmother.
"Restraint" was previously published in , a Silver Boomer Book. Used by permission of the author.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
02 of 10
Poem About a Newborn Grandchild
Another take on the experience of meeting a grandchild, this poem captures the bittersweet nature of being a grandparent. We love them, but they aren't really ours, although they do have a special dwelling place in our hearts.
The Newborn Grandchild
You were born one early January noon
That transformed me into grandparenthood
Skinny little bundle of perfection
I was the first one to greet you
Into this imperfect world
We conversed -- I with words
You with your senses
A bond formed then,
As tight as the... swathing clothes
As beautiful as your eyes
Roaming the room,
Questioning the sensations
Of a world outside the womb
You reverted back to her care
Who could have imagined
You'd snuggle so securely
Into that unsuspecting compartment
Of my heart, vacant and aching for you
All these years.
About the Author: Born in New York City, Helen Bar-Lev has lived in Israel for 40 years. She is a renowned landscape artist who has had many exhibitions, including one-woman shows. She is active in international communities in both poetry and art. Visit her website.
"The Newborn Grandchild" was previously published in Child of My Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents. Buy from Amazon. Poem used by permission of the author.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
03 of 10
Poem About Grandparent Time
Is there any time more precious than time spent with grandchildren? The theme of time resonates through this poem by Karen Neuberg.
We gather a child in our arms,
again. Patient in ways we were unable
to be for our own. Though those
days long and stretching were filled
with slow steps and explorations,
these seem profound. On the bus,
off the bus. Each day a candle
glowing in the sky, gathering time
in our pockets, falling through
holes in the seams. We gather
more: child of our child pronouncing
n...ow our names, calling to us
across a room. Can anything be
more than this -- or as simple.
About the Author: Karen Neuberg is the author of two chapbooks, Detailed Still and Myself Taking Stage. Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies. She is a Pushcart nominee. Links to more of her work can be found on her website.
"Grandchild" was previously published in Child of My Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents. Reprinted by permission of the author.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
04 of 10
Poem for When You Are Close Yet Far Away
When actual, geographical distance separates grandparents and grandchildren, a bit of heartache is bound to result. In fact, long-distance grandparents can experience a wide range of emotions. That's to be expected. But sometimes the unexpected happens, as in this poem.
In my dream
I held my grandson tight.
I put my hand on his little naked shoulder
and wrapped my arm around his waist.
In my dream,
we found a magic swimming pool,
turquoise, warm, rectangular, large
and we slipped in together. .... .
sputtering, bouncing, bobbing, gliding.
In my dream,
I made him breakfast
and sat next to him and watched him swallow.
I set him up on the rug to play
and while I did the dishes, I felt
connected to him across the room.
This was my dream and although
in real life, he was faraway,
beyond my touch, living at bay,
I visited him through longing,
a vivid voyage, a chosen foray.
In real life, I carry around a weight
of unused grandmotherly acts,
a whole shopping bag of smiles and
ready vigilance and pie crust know-how,
of art projects and songs to sing
and the desire to cup his head in my hand.
Still, this was my dream and
when I woke up, I felt happy.
About the Author: Meredith Escudier divides her time between France and her native California. The author of many poems, she also enjoys writing about the French language and food.
"Grandson" was previously published in Child of My Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents. Used by permission of the author.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Poem About Playing With a Grandchild
Ah, the joys of babysitting a grandchild. What's the best part? Is it sharing books, playing together, or simply getting to drink in the sights and sounds of a growing grandchild>
In the Playroom
I study you while you play
all wonder and wild
you humming like a song
boy enthralled in the wood
in pieces of cows and
cars in the corn
sweet pumpkin delight
happy tender two
million dollar smile
what greater love
In my niche
shoeless on the playroom floor
Bear's Busy Day
There's a... Monster In My Closet
And that Grinch
he had a wonderful awful idea.
I have a Love Song For A Baby
that's getting so big
All these mornings I run in circles
around the orange tree, hearing you growl
listening to you fuss, I want to stay at Nana's.
Boohoo, we want our appendix out too!
(Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans)
I have found paradise, my Paris
that pays big bucks indeed
in hugs and in laughter
so fruitfully full of
little words with big meanings
brand new crazy nouns
(dars and frucks)
Sad goodbyes then nice quiet
for Nana, a granny, an ole girl
that needs rest
from your round brown
beautiful eyes, reflection
a chance to piece together
your future your smartness
but mostly your now.
About the Author: Connie Marconi, also known as Nana Connie, is a poet, a grandmother and a blogger.
"In the Playroom" is used by permission of the author.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
06 of 10
Poem About Grandchild Growing Up
Uncommonly honest, this poem perfectly captures the push and pull that many grandparents feel when their parenting and grandparenting roles are conflated. It's also a wonderful celebration of the bittersweet experience of seeing a grandchild grow up.
Hank Smith: Walking With Marcy
When they moved in with Betty and me
after the divorce, my daughter and her daughter,
it annoyed me at first, spoiling our quiet routine,
but soon I enjoyed having everyone together,
especially Marcy running around the... place,
asking questions, sidekick on my afternoon walk.
Getting Marcy ready for school became my job.
I'd fix her breakfast and walk her to the school bus.
In winter, wake-up time was dark as midnight.
Why was the morning star so bright, she asked.
In spring the sky could be pink and orange
as she took my hand walking to the road.
Years passed and I saw she was letting go my hand
when the bus came near, averting her eyes
when kids yelled: "Hiya Gramps!"
As we walked to the road one morning, she said,
"You know, Grandpa, it's okay if you want
to sleep late. I can get myself ready."
I looked at her, pretty and grown so much
since first she joined us, and I said not a word,
just nodded and smiled back. I heard the bus
brake to a stop, heard the kids shouting: "Hey Marcy!"
as I started back to the house. I could stay
in bed, sleep as late as I want.
About the Author: The poems of Lewis Gardner have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, including the New York Times. A teacher of writing, Gardner has twice been a finalist for the Walt Whitman Award. He also writes plays and has coauthored a book about feral children, Children of the Wild.
"Hank Smith: Walking With Marcy" was previously published in Child of My Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents. Used by permission of the author.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
07 of 10
Poem About Generations
It's a grand cycle. We left our parents and established our own families. Our children leave us in turn. But when you are a grandparent who has been left behind, what should be a generational cycle sometimes feels like something rougher.
Shrapnel, a grenade exploding,
my family has blown itself apart,
to Texas, Jersey, Ohio, Penn's Woods.
Now in searing, secondary explosions,
their families are flying apart to colleges
and jobs across our huge country.
You... can't complain. You exploded
from your parents' nest, and they from theirs,
they from theirs, and they from theirs,
back to explosions that crossed oceans.
--Janet M. Lewis
About the Author: Janet M. Lewis has two books of poetry and numerous other publications to her credit.
"Shrapnel" originally appeared in Getting Kind of Late and Selected Poems by Jan Lewis. "Shrapnel" is also included in Child of My Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents. Used by permission of the author.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
08 of 10
Poem About Welcoming an Older Grandchild
Some grandchildren don't come to us as infants. Some come as older children, due to a variety of circumstances. Sometimes they come into our lives because we have become step-grandparents. They may come to us through adoption or fostering. Less often, they are simply grandchildren we didn't know we had.
To a New Grandchild
Your name is Kristen, you are ten, but
I don't know you. When your mother
had you, no one told your father,
our youngest son.
Did he suspect
his... brief affair had borne such fruit?
Did his instincts warn him -- you're too
young for fatherhood?
Now, too late
to hold the baby in his arms in awe
at tiny fingers, nose, and mouth -- but
soon enough to love, forgive, and
play the role our seed intended.
About the Author: Mollie Schmidt has written poems, reviews and professional articles and has published a children's book, Willem of Holland. The grandmother of nine, she lives on a lake in Maine.
"To a New Grandchild" was previously published in Child of My Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents. Used by permission of the author.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Poem About a Grandchild's Illness
One of the hardest trials a grandparent can face is the illness of a grandchild. Whether the health issue is large or small, the worry can be devastating.
Before My Grandson's Surgery
A thousand miles away from you
I do not know where to turn.
I visit the Trappestine Monastery,
then sit on a bench by their small lake.
I read, I pray, I contemplate.
An anhinga hangs from a fallen tree
drying out like a sail in the wind.
A snakebird darts under
the water like a crafty fish;
a salamander separates from his... tail,
then scampers away.
Thoughts of you beat in me
like the snowy egret's wings.
I think of your tiny body,
that mite of kidney,
that thread of tubing tangled
like knitting yarn.
These minutes, these hours, hang
like that still anhinga. I want to dive
with you into the smooth cool lake.
I want us to separate from the pain
like the salamander. I want to run
with you to a safer place.
About the Author: The poetry of Donna Wahlert has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals. In addition, she has published The First Pressing: Poetry of the Everyday.
"To a New Grandchild" was first published in Mothers and Daughters: A Poetry Celebration. It is also included in Child of My Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents. Used by permission of the author.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
10 of 10
Poem About Growing With a Grandchild
One of the great joys of being a grandparent is teaching our grandchildren something that is important to us. But, oh, do we ever learn from them, too.
Your little hand in my big hand,
Your little heart in mine.
We leave our prints upon the land,
Too lightly pressed to make a sign.
My little voice in your new voice,
My little thoughts, with yours, entwined.
We built a listening world from choice,
A simple, loving, trusting kind.
About the Author: UK author Martin Hodges says he has... spent his life "stringing sentences together." "Grown" was first published on his blog Square Sunshine.