For a Granddaughter

Russell Kesler welcomes a family member who has not yet arrived.

You’re not here, among us, yet,
haven’t snapped a fresh carrot
between your teeth, crossed
a windy street after looking both ways,
but we can’t hold that against you.

You’ll be here soon enough,
and your room is all ready
for you—the crib, the stuffed critters,
the mobile that your eyes will learn
to focus on as you drift toward sleep.

Sleep!  You must already know
about that, there in that quiet
place you live in now.  Also,
there are two cats you’ll meet,
who will find you strange at first

and whom you’ll have to learn
to pet carefully.  Their claws,
little one, are sharp and crisp,
as are so many things we’d like
to protect you from.  You’re set

to arrive in the darkest time
of the year, when days are short
and nights long.  But your parents
are tall and strong, and people
have made blankets to cover you.

We can’t wait to make
your acquaintance.  We know
your name but won’t say it
yet, not here.  Some things
are meant to be secrets though

everyone knows all about them.


Read more on Grandfatherhood on The Good Life.

Image credit: Ⅿeagan/Flickr

About Russell Kesler

Russ Kesler teaches writing at the University of Central Florida. His books of poems are A Small Fire</em and As If.


  1. Mark Kesler says:

    Beautiful poem. My Granddaughter will be 7 in February. If you think you love your kids, wait until your Granddaughter arrives. Very unusual to see a one “S” Kesler also….we got rid of the two “S” bunch a long time ago hahaha.

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