One year I got a shirt with my initials on the pocket,
My grandma wanted me to have it instead of a Saturn rocket.
Even though what I really wanted was the model of the Apollo ship,
My dad had made it clear to me that I shouldn’t give her any lip.
And so I had to put it on and wear it for the rest of the day,
A ten year old in his oxford cloth with MAL on display.
“Don’t you look grown up?” Gram said with a smiling face,
My brothers all laughed at me as my head hung in disgrace.
When I sat down to Christmas dinner I saw salvation from remorse,
Cranberry sauce and the law of gravity that I knew would be enforced.
“I think that I’d like this sauce I’ll just put some on my plate,”
Ooops, it slipped it seems that clumsiness was my fate.
I excused myself to get up to go and change my shirt,
I wiped a tear from my eye so grandma wouldn’t feel too hurt.
It seemed that I had pulled it off even though the caper was adlib,
Until my mom wrapped me in a towel and I now wore a bib.
“I don’t want to see this shirt get spoiled before the dinner’s done,”
She pushed my chair up tight to the table for fear that I might run.
Which is what I would have done if it hadn’t been for my granddad,
As he wrapped up in a towel and said, “I don’t think that looks half bad.”
Then he threw an olive at my towel and said, “Now you’ve got a shield,”
Then he threw one and I caught it in my mouth like I was in center field.
I looked around the table and hit him with a piece of turkey meat,
That he proudly wore upon his towel as we all continued to eat.
Never again did I ever wear the shirt with my initials on the pocket,
And next month for my birthday my Grandpa got me a Saturn Rocket.
Sometimes I wonder just what kind of a grandpa will I be,
And I really hope that I get a grandkid who’ll throw his food at me.
Copyright © Tony Lane