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Talking to My Four-year-old Great Grandson on the Landline
by
Sharon Waller Knutson


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Maw Maw, what you doiní?
Iím talking to you. What
are you doing?
I ask.
He answers a question
with a question:
Are you cominí over?

My granddaughter explains
I am a different grandmother,
the one who lives in Arizona.
Maw Maw, what are you
doiní in Arizona? I live there,

I say. Why? he asks. Itís warm.

Are you playiní with the cats?
he asks. Wrong grandma.
I have cows in my yard, I say.
Why? he asks. Because
I live in an open range.
Why?
he asks. I remember

his mother at his age
telling me, I see your
porch light is on,

as she points to a star.
I know where
you live. In the sky.
I saw the plane
take you there.


So I know it is pointless
to try to explain to a four-
year-old which grandma
is which and which grandma
lives where so I just tell him,
I will be there soon,
and he is satisfied.


From What the Clairvoyant Doesnít Say (Kelsay Books, 2021).
Used here with permission.



Sharon Waller Knutson lives in a house her husband, Albert, built out of clay from the land on a dirt road in the middle of a wildlife habitat and open range of the Arizona desert. A retired journalist, she writes poetry for readers who don’t normally read poetry. In 2014, Sharon sold her chapbook, My Grandmother Smokes Chesterfields, to winter visitors from all over the world in a café where her husband played guitar and sang country music. Her customers told her they expected her to publish a new poetry book when they returned each year so, in 2015, she published Desert Directions, about her life in the desert. In 2016, she published They Affectionately Call Her a Dinosaur, poems about her customers and other seniors in her life who started new careers, businesses, and relationships after they retired. In 2017, she published I Did it Anyway, poems about how she broke the glass ceiling in the newspaper business in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when women were typically relegated to the society pages. Sharon's first full-length collection, What the Clairvoyant Doesn't Say, was released this summer. Meanwhile, she and Albert (who retired from his music gig in 2019) stay busy raising assorted critters and enjoying their 11 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren..Learn more about Sharon here.

                    


Post New Comment:
Stephen Anderson:
Youve very well captured the phenomenon of the overwhelming, insatiable curiosity of our grandchildren that is part of a grandparents rite of passage. Nicely done, Sharon!
Posted 09/14/2021 09:33 AM
Lori Levy:
Love how your great-grandson thinks you live in the sky.
Posted 09/13/2021 03:43 PM
peninsulapoet:
always love Sharon's poems.
Posted 09/13/2021 11:47 AM
joecot:
Love that porch light.
Posted 09/13/2021 10:56 AM
Larry Schug:
Astute comment, Kevin, to a well-crafted poem, Sharon. I like poems that ask questions.
Posted 09/13/2021 09:47 AM
KevinArnold:
Oh that reminds me of dealing with dementia, so I guess white lies are called for at both ends of the age spectrum.
Posted 09/13/2021 09:40 AM
Cathyís Sister:
Lovely!
Posted 09/13/2021 09:26 AM
Rob:
So fun!
Posted 09/13/2021 06:21 AM


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