Grandmothers – Personal Celebrities – Grandmother Poem

I realized this afternoon that it was my grandmother’s birthday.  I’d been all set to write about addiction, particularly those addictions related to celebrity (as in the pursuit of particular people,  i.e. Robert Pattinson, and the pursuit of celebrity itself,  i.e. Michaele and  Tareq Salahi.)

And then I remembered that it was November 28th and that one of my grandmothers had been born well over 100 years ago, in a year in which Thanksgiving fell on this day.

This, in my mind, is much more important than celebrity, though related too in a funny way.

Grandmothers are very special people by and large.  I understand that they can be problematic children, spouses, and parents.  But, for many, it seems, the mantle of “grandmother” works a wand-like magic that enables them to be their very best selves for very long stretches of time.  In that sense, they can be a household celebrity, at least to their young grandchildren;  those same young grandchildren have their own experience of celebrity in the unconditional specialness they are accorded by their grandmothers.  Pretty terrific.

All that said, I’ve always felt that my grandmother was particularly special, and probably her best self her whole life.  Here’s an (illustrated) poem about a day spent with her.  The drawing bears no resemblance (!), but I’m much better drawing elephants than people.

Fishing With My Grandmother (Done With Elephants)

The Time My Grandma Took Me Fishing

Reeds split for our crouch;
she parted her lap around me,
mosquito in ear, white curls
bristling my face.  Our hands laced the green
rod—it was a stick, only truly green
on the inside, like the bubble
of high grass, low crik, thick
with summer.  Safety pin
for a hook;  even she
seemed surprised when the stick jarred,
jerked the thread across the
murk, though she quickly pulled it through
my loosening grip. Both amazed as
a silver disc flashed,  shiny as
the newly bought, through
our homemade afternoon; in the bucket,
an occasional swish of rainbow
that you could only catch
if you really looked.

All rights reserved, Karin Gustafson.

(For spelling purists, “crik” should be spelled “creek”, I know.   I chose this spelling so that non-Midwestern, or Southern, readers would know how to pronounce it!)

Explore posts in the same categories: elephants, poetry, Uncategorized

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2 Comments on “Grandmothers – Personal Celebrities – Grandmother Poem”


  1. Hey! Texans know what a crik is!
    Lovely poem and lovelier sentiment.
    Well done!

  2. Jingle Says:

    wow, lovely fishing poem..
    Happy potluck.


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