A poem about grandmothers by Lucille Clifton (1936-2010).

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.

rocks in a chair and
walks with a sign
and they’re both of them
and they’re both of them

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

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!