Imposter Grandmother

Starting with a line from Sylvia
by ARHuelsenbeck

they stand about in grandmotherly disguise
these imposters
they have no grandchildren
so they acquire others’ by deceit
luring them with cookies and other forbidden sweets
knitting them scratchy sweaters in colors so 1970

they wander the neighborhood and
patronize lemonade stands and
pontificate how in their day the
sweet nectar of the sour tree cost only 5 cents
but buy today’s cup of crystal lite
for a dollar

how dare they send birthday and Halloween cards
to my little sweeties
how dare they call them punkin and cupcake
and take selfies with them
hands off, geezerettes

they’re mine
I earned them the hard way
by raising up my children
and waiting for them to do the same

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.
This entry was posted in Grandparenting, Poetry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Imposter Grandmother

  1. I loved this post. There was an elderly woman who lived next door to us when our girls were little. She always asked permission for them to come in her house, and I was thrilled. They doted on each other.

    We try to be very careful not to overstep the bounds with neighbor Logan. He is adopted, but even his adopted grandparents are all dead. They aren’t here to be jealous. We’ve joked about acting as his grandparents. So far, we’ve been thanked for playing with him and giving him gifts at the appropriate time. I can understand the feelings expressed in your poem, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I don’t have any grandchildren (yet–still praying), so that was not the motivation for the poem. I wrote it in response to a prompt to select a line from a poem by Sylvia Plath (I don’t remember which poem), and let that be the first line for a new poem. (That’s where the title of the poem came from–“Starting with a line from Sylvia.”) That first line caught my imagination, and the story grew out from it.
      I only met one of my own grandparents, and she lived in Germany, so I only saw her 3 times my whole life. I would have loved it if a couple had “adopted” me as a gradchild.


      • I wish you’d had extra grandparents. I had three of my own and didn’t need extras. The fourth died way before I was born.

        That was an interesting way to start a poem, and I liked the way you developed the story.


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