Treasure Island

Jim Yerman

A New Generation Of Granparents

I never knew my grandparents, never got to experience that particular joy
For my grandparents on both sides of my family died when I was but a boy.

In spite of that one thing I have noticed over and over again
Is there seemed to be more of a gap between the generations then.

And though I’m not sure if I can give you a scientific explanation
I believe that gap has decreased with each succeeding generation.

Which is why Deborah and I have a bone to pick with how grandparents are portrayed
And we’d like to put an end to this ignominious charade.

When a cartoonist draws a grandma her hair is invariably in a bun
If she’s not wearing a sweater chances are she’s knitting one.

Under her sweater is a flowered mumu, it seems for fashion she has a blatant disregard
She might have donned a wide brimmed hat as she plants daisies in her yard.

She’s holding a baby in a rocker and she’s singing a lullaby
In some pictures she just finished baking cookies or perhaps an apple pie.

When that same cartoonist draws a grandpa he is never very tall
And his hair is a vibrant shade of gray or white if he has any hair at all.

His plaid pants never match his shirt and his glasses are as thick as a window pane
He could be in a wheel chair but more likely he walks with a cane.

If Grandpa’s not sitting in some comfy chair smoking a pipe and watching TV too
Chances are he’s fishing or reading the Almanac for isn’t that what Grandpas do?

If you look around at grandparents today, you’ll find us agile and nimble and spry
In fact you’ll discover to your amazement those old stereotypes don’t apply.

Deborah doesn’t wear a mumu, no wide brimmed hat, no bun,
If you ask her grandkids what they think, they’d say their grandma’s fun.

She’s creative, she’s compassionate, she’s patient and I can verify
She’s great with babies, loves to bake and sings a soothing lullaby.

And as for me though I am bald I don’t wear plaid pants, never would.
And if I do say so myself, I make the clothes I wear look good.

I do not fish, don’t watch much TV, don’t read the Farmer’s Almanac
When the grandkids ask to play football guess who’s the quarterback?

Deborah and I will try jumping rope, playing soccer and climbing trees too
Because in this day and age, in our generation, that’s what grandparents do!

We are a mix of old and new, we are much cooler and hipper than before
(Even though I’m pretty sure people don’t say cooler or hipper anymore!)

We embrace some of the traits of our grandparents, yes the good ones have survived
But speaking for Deborah and the grandparents I know, a new generation has arrived!

So cartoonists when you draw Deborah draw her with style, grace and fun
And if you’re drawing her baking cupcakes, make sure there funky ones.

And when you take our your pencils out don’t draw me in a rocking chair
Draw me up a tree or on a roller coaster and if you want you can add more hair.

Submitted: Wednesday, December 04, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Wrote this after seeing a few commercials on TV with grandparents in them.

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