“All Kinds of Grands”

Lucille Clifton, who won the National Book Award in 2000 for Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems, was known for her spare but passionate accounts of the experiences of women and African Americans.

She wrote this piece, “All Kinds of Grands,” for the anthology Poems for Grandmothers, which was published in 1990.

Clifton died in 2010, at age 73.

She
rocks in a chair and
She
walks with a sign
and they’re both of them
Grands
and they’re both of them
Mine!

She
taught me to knit and
She taught me to dance
and I wouldn’t trade either
of them, not a chance!

She
rocks me to sleep and
She shouts me awake
and they both of them love me
and both, for my sake,

do all kinds of grand things
they wouldn’t have guessed.
Oh, all kinds of Grands
are the Grands that are best!