Grandma’s Precious Things
by David Satterlee
I always love when Grandma comes
to visit with us here.
It’s like a special holiday
to have my Grandma near.
I like it when she reads to me
while sitting on her lap.
I like it when she sings a song
to me before my nap.
And so one day I told my Mom
it didn’t seem too fair
that Grandma only came to us
but we’d not visit there.
“Why can’t we go to Grandma’s house?
I really want to know.
I like when she comes over here
because I love her so.”
My Mama looked real funny and
she sat me on a chair.
I wondered what was wrong that she
had made me sit right there.
She frowned again and looked at me
while thinking what to say.
I’m really glad she smiled at last
and talked to me that day.
“I know you love your Grandma and
I know she loves you too.
She loves to come and see us and
she loves to visit you.
“But Grandma’s place is different than
our house where children play.
She has a lot of precious things
that you might hurt some day.
“You’ll break her chickens made of glass
and all her precious things.
You’ll tear the pages in her books
and try on all her rings.
“You’ll run around your Grandma’s house
and jump on all her chairs.
You’ll slide on all her little rugs
and bump down all her stairs.
“You’ll open all her closets up
and try on all her clothes.
You’ll use her pretty table cloth
to wipe your drippy nose.
“You’ll run around pretending that
you’re flying in the air.
You’ll make her yellow tabby cat
go hide beneath the chair.”
It made me sad to think about
the things that mother said.
I almost felt like crying as
I laid there in my bed.
I really wouldn’t want to break
my Grandma’s precious stuff.
I only want to visit her
and wouldn’t play too rough.
I’d only play with just the things
that Grandma let me touch.
I truly would be quiet there
and not make noise so much.
The rules are sometimes different when
you’re in another place.
If only they would let me go
I wouldn’t run and chase.
So when I woke tomorrow I
would tell my mother that
I promised to be careful and
leave stuff where it was at.
I’d try to be more thoughtful and
I’d walk instead of run.
I’d talk instead of shouting but
I still could have some fun.
I’d ask to see her pictures of
the places she had been.
I’d listen to her stories of
our family way back when.
And so it really happened that
we got into the car
and went to visit Grandma’s house.
It wasn’t very far.
My Grandma smiled and said that she
was glad that we were there.
She said that she had baked a batch
of cookies we could share.
I mostly looked but didn’t touch
but that was really hard.
So once or twice they told me I
should go play in the yard.
When I came in I had to wipe
my feet upon a mat.
She let me jump from just two steps
and pet the yellow cat.
She told me stories of the time
when Mother had been small;
before the time that I was born
and wasn’t here at all.
Of course she hugged and kissed me and
she told she would care
about how I was growing and
that I was welcome there.
She said that she had noticed that
I didn’t tease the cat
and that I paid attention to
the place where I was at.
“But you,” she said, “mean more to me
than any fancy thing.
I’m grateful for your visit and
you make my old heart sing.
“I want you to remember though
that when the day is through,
of all the things I care about,
my precious thing is you.”
Copyright 2004, David Satterlee
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