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Grandfather, Grandmother poem by Red Skelton

Grandfather, Grandmother – a poem by an older Red Skelton, recited on his weekly television show

 

Grandfather, Grandmother
A gentle title that builds an imaginary wall around the harshness of two words; old age
The enemy of youth, for we have learned that age is cruel
Yet regardless to how young you are, how young you think you are, or try to be
Age steps in, unannounced, introduced by your closest friends sometimes by saying “Remember when?”
It’s then that we hope that we’ll have some brilliance that will blind the observer,
Or cast a shadow over our actions and keep them in the semi-darkness,
And we close our ears,
So we will not hear the sounds made by progress that knows no sentiment
Or to hear the song that is sung by youth called senility

Grandfather, Grandmother - poem by Red Skelton, recited by him on The Red Skelton ShowGrandmother, grandfather
A noble symbol of age
A real elegance that’s filled with proud moments
A chance to relive your childhood
Through the eyes of your children’s children

Grandfather, grandmother
A privilege granted by God
To teach the little newcomer the shortcuts
And the ways to face the angry sorrowful old world
A chance to teach independence and respect without the aid of groups or causes
A chance to show how to build and not to destroy
A chance to see the innocence of life again
To let our minds romp freely
And not notice the hypocrisy or the puritanical taboos
That this little fellow doesn’t know yet
A chance to teach and recapture wasted, unimportant seconds of our childhood
To explain youth to that always ambitious youth
That sometimes forgets to realize the importance of childhood
They’re always pretending that they’re a little older than their bodies or their reasons
And intelligent just enough to be well misinformed
Ignorant to discipline which teach the true essence of freedom
To teach them to grow into their wisdom far beyond their years

Grandfather, Grandmother
A blessed honor
A chance to daydream and to notice a bird in flight
And think of an answer, for it’ll be the first time you’ve ever been asked why
And to touch a puppy dog, and not notice it messing up the place
To see for the first time a blade of grass take on the designs of a cathedral
A chance to see spring in the twilight of our autumn years
Grandmother, Grandfather

What a new dignity for now you see love
And you feel respect
For now you walk holding two hands
One the hand of tomorrow
The other the hand of eternity

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