Birdfoot’s Grandpa

12 Feb

In fifth grade, my English teacher Mrs. Robertson taught us this poem. Her husband was a reporter for the Houston Chronicle. Many moons later,  I was working the media/ elevator for the University of Texas football program, when he stepped in. I immediately recognized him and told him I was a student of his wife’s back in 1989. I then added how she was the best English teacher I’d ever had.  This was always one of the poems that stuck with me the line, “We’ve got places to go to.” Stayed in my head enough that I had to look it up and post it.

The old man

Must have stopped our car

Two dozen times to climb out

And gather into his hands

The small toads blinded by our lights

And leaping live drops of rain.

The rain was falling

A mist about his white hair

and I kept saying

You can’t save them all,

Accept it, get back in

We’ve got places to go to.

But leather hands full

Of wet brown life,

Knee deep in the summer

Roadside grass,

He just smiled and said

they have places to go to too.

~Joseph Bruchac~


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