Typewriter Rodeo: What My Grandmother Taught Me

Each week, the Standard reaches out to Austin’s Typewriter Rodeo for a custom poem.

By Rebecca BendheimJuly 28, 2023 2:31 pm, ,

There are plenty of quotes about age and wisdom. This Typewriter Rodeo poem doesn’t pull from stereotype or adage. It’s just a real-life example of a good lesson passed down.

What My Grandmother Taught Me

I ask her how she reconnected
with my step-grandpa,
her high school sweetheart,
all those years
and jobs
and children later.
She sips her sweet tea,
dips her chip
in her special queso
and tells me:
“I got divorced, so he called to check in.
He got divorced, so I checked in too.
just to see how he was doing
It was the polite thing to do.”

“Polite?” I asked. “To swoop in,
right when a twenty year relationship
was ending?”
She shrugged, sipped her tea, dipped her chip.
and said, “Hey I got
what I wanted.”

My grandmother taught me
to go for it —
my hopes, needs, dreams
It’s just the polite thing
to do.

a photo of the typewritten poem on a torn half sheet of yellowish paper. the paper is sitting on a quilt.

typewriter rodeo logoTypewriter Rodeo airs each Friday on Texas Standard. Send us your ideas for a poem on Facebook or Twitter, or send us an email.

Typewriter Rodeo is also available anytime in podcast form.

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