Give Me a Grandparent
by Ute Carson
Gringolandia Santiago Magazine, March 2012

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.

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