Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

The Lazy One

Two little chickens early in the morning,
In the barnyard, getting awake,
As the rooster crowed, one said to the other,
“What a racket that rooster can make!
I just don’t think I’ll get up today,
I’m not going scratching at all.
Perhaps you would scratch for both of us,
I think I’ll just sit and loll.”

Said the other chicken, “Now get this straight,
Although your plan is neat,
He who doesn’t work at all,
Simply doesn’t eat.
Scratch for yourself, my lazy one,
Being idle is no fun!”

~Dana B. Nelson

Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

Going Fishing

Four little boys with fishing rods,
Bare feet and faded jeans,
Four little boys with a dog beside them,
Know what happiness means.

The dusty road feels good to the feet,
The summer sun beats down,
They come to their favorite fishing stream
Two miles outside of town.

And they sit and fish and eat all day,
Contented and lazy and glad.
And whether they’ve caught any fish or not,
What a wonderful time they’ve had!

Four little boys with fishing rods
And a dog. Oh, let me say,
I never have seen a lovelier sight
All on a summer’s day!

~Dana B. Nelson


Recently I was taken back to playing Canasta with my beloved grandmother. Often we would play well into the night. I remember one night playing so long that we literally watched a lima bean sprout grow that we had planted in a Dixie cup.

I would often win. No, I would often trounce her, laughing with glee at having done it. Now I know she let me. The joy I brought through laughter was the reason she would laugh, too.

It is something we do as grandparents.

Missing mine, but, grateful I am one.

Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

Squirting Fun

Shawnie, Shawnie, has the hose.
Oops! See how the water goes
Up in the air, a fountain of joy,
Raining down on a little boy.
Now on the flowers, now the patio,
Now he’s discovered it makes a rainbow!
He squirts the water everyplace,
There it goes in Daddy’s face!

~Dana B. Nelson

Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

Mr. Dinkle’s Cow

Mr. Dinkle was my friend.
(When I was four, I knew him),
His cow lived in the field by us,
When he fed her, I’d talk to him.

He’d sit down on a stool and milk
Her every night, I guess.
I asked him once what was her name,
And he said it was Bess.

Now Bess is not a cow’s name,
And so – and so – and so –
Mr. Dinkle never knew,
But I called her Dodo.

When he was gone I’d stand there,
And softly call her name,
“Come over here, Dear Dodo,”
And she’d come, since she was tame.

And yet at night when he’d call,
“Here, Bess!” she’d amble over.
Do you suppose it was because
She just liked hay and clover?

For don’t you think that any cow,
With good sense, more or less,
Would choose the name of Dodo,
And not the name of Bess?

~Dana B. Nelson

Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

Mother’s Hands

When I am sick they soothe my head,
And straighten covers on my bed,
And bring me trays with drink and food.
My Mother’s hands are kind and good.

When I am hurt they touch me and then
Somehow my hurt feels well again.
When they take my hand and we sit and talk,
Or go together for a walk,

Then I feel safe and good and warm;
My Mother’s hands keep me from harm.
But best of all at night when we kneel
Together and pray, it’s then I feel

God made Mother’s hands to bless,
To love, to guide, to help, and unless
We all had mothers we wouldn’t know
That this is so…that this is so!

~Dana B. Nelson