A Grandfamily Poem – The Meaning

This is the first poem I’ve ever published. It came to me one summer day last year while I was writing my children’s book, A Grandfamily for Sullivan. The words flowed out of me effortlessly. I’ve been hesitant to share it, because I am far from a poet, but this pandemic has reminded me how short life can be, and what’s really most important to me is taking a chance, feeling the fear, and doing it anyway. My hope is that it will be helpful to a grandparent or grandchild out there. And besides, who am I to decide what is good and bad poetry anyway?


Sully and his Mom had to say good bye

He moved in with Grandma the day he turned five

Sully was sad about his new life

He was filled with anger, confusion and strife

Sometimes Sully hit, stole and lied

Grandma was frustrated, but stayed by his side

She scooped him up tight when he cried

Sully was grateful, but kept it inside

Sully moved back to Mom when he was eight

He was so happy, he started to quake!

But Mom didn’t change at a quick enough rate

She was sleeping a lot and staying out too late

Not before long Sully was at Grandma’s front gate

He was angry before, but now he was IRATE!

Grandma welcomed him back to her arms

She longed to keep him safe from harm

But this time his bright eyes lost their charm

Worries rippled his brain like a fire alarm

All Sully wanted was to be alone

He froze from the pain and sat like a stone

But this was behavior Grandma couldn’t condone

She invited him out for an ice cream cone

Sully was surprised by the love he was shown

Despite his down face and the use of his “tone.”

He realized with Grandma he was never alone!

Years passed and Grandma grew old

Sully’s tough life made him resilient and bold

But one day Grandma became sick with a cold

and between them many words left untold

Time was escaping and before it was too late

Sully walked up to Grandma’s front gate

Grandma, our life wasn’t always dreamy

But you taught me to trust again freely

You loved me even when nothing was easy

And accepted who I was without trying to change me

Because of you I found a home in our family

Sully, your sweet words are not surprising

I could see the kind heart that you were disguising

Thank you for being brave and sharing your feelings

But you are the one who gave MY life meaning

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