Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

The Sugar Pill

The doctor’s waiting room was filled —
With only standing room.
Pills for this, pills for that —
Chase the ladies’ gloom!

Women, women, women,
Crowded in the hall —
Was there no end to it,
No end at all?

Way down deep inside,
This wise doctor knew,
That to cure the many ills,
What he ought to do,

Was call each husband in,
Stand there and say,
Tell her that you love her,
Tell her three times a day!

~Dana B. Nelson

Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

Substitution

Oh, tell me not that I am cold, aloof.
It is the only shield that I can wear.
The gay, sweet laughter, badge of all of youth,
Is gone, with only numbness there.
How can it be? The lovely things we planned
Slipping through my fingers. As they go,
My life seem like a sieve that’s sifting sand.
And now in such a quiet way I know
Peace comes to those who seek and wait.
A still and lonely peace all shorn of hate.

~Dana B. Nelson

Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

Found Wanting

I saw a flower on a summer day
Wilting and dying for lack of rain.
Just a quiet shower would have surely brought
All of its loveliness back again.

Why did I suddenly want to cry?
Was it because that, likewise, I
Needed a shower of love to revive
My joy of living and being alive?

(Darling, what makes you unable to see
What a little love would do for me?)

~Dana B. Nelson

Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

Positive, Negative, Oil and Fire

What was our trouble? Now it is clear
Why we had to let go of all we held dear.
I loved to climb mountains while you were secure
Down in the valley, safe and sure.
I reached for the stars while you were content
To see stars in puddles when the rain was spent.
Anything routine I tried to avoid,
While the unexpected found you annoyed.
For things worthwhile I’d gamble, while you
Were satisfied with the tried and true.
I’m a born optimist, (you always said),
While you were a pessimist, born and bred.
I’d wipe up the spilled milk and go on my way,
You brooded about it day after day.
Positive, negative, oil and fire,
Mix together — results are dire.

And so with experience wisdom came.
Though the fire burned brightly we put out the flame.

~Dana B. Nelson

Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

To My Mother

Not gone from the heart, though gone from the eye,
For the love of you two could not ever die.
Always together you walked through this life,
Proud to share all as husband and wife.
He walked a step faster and left you behind,
But you cannot falter, you must not mind.
For at the road’s turning there waiting is he,
Thinking how slow you sometimes can be.
Waiting there, love overflowing his heart,
Never once thinking you are apart.
Thinking, perhaps, you are combing your hair,
Or dozing a little curled up on a chair,
Or hustling about doing all those things
That made him feel like a king among kings.
To him it will seem but a few hours or so
Until, hand in hand, into heaven you go.
There is your love, so sweetly he’s tending,
Refreshingly beautiful, dear and unending.

~Dana B. Nelson

Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

I Like These Things

I like the way you honk the horn
When you’re coming in the drive,
For you know that I’m waiting
When the clock says five.

I like the way you smile at me
When company is around,
Your eyes will say, “I love you!”
You don’t have to make a sound.

And the way your bedroom slippers
Are left beside the chair,
When I am by myself
It’s nice to see them there.

Like the way that we can sit
Together without talking,
And the way you hold my hand
Whenever we go walking.

And the little sign we have,
(A secret between we two)
Of saying without words,
“Darling, I love you!”

We’re awfully lucky, aren’t we,
Dearest, you and I?
Growing old together
As time goes by.

~Dana B. Nelson

Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

Life’s Joy

I cannot imagine
How it would be,
Not to have him come home
To his baby and me,
Not to have him come in
With a grin on his face,
And say, “My! It’s good
To come home to this place!”

~Dana B. Nelson