When Grandpa Bob came back from his first date with my grandma he said
“I’m going to marry Dale, or a woman just like her.”
He impressed her with his SAT scores.
He sold his prized stamp collection
To pay for their phone calls.
My mom knows all too well that when he’s in a pleasant mood
He cracks jokes
About golf or traveling or my brother’s picky eating.
When he’s in a lousy mood
He’s irritable and grouchy and acts his old age
Always grumbling under his breath.
And whenever we go out to eat
He practically learns our server’s life story
“If I was from the Guide Michelin what should I order?”
He has a black bushy mustache
A nose like Cyrano
And glasses as round as the buttons on a polo shirt.
Once little children in a park thought he was wearing a disguise.
He told them he wasn’t.
They didn’t believe him
But he wasn’t exasperated.
He just told the children to try
And take off his nose.
—from 2014 Rattle Young Poets Anthology