In my grandma’s pleasant house,
dressed up in her peasant blouse,
a towel stuffed in to form a lump
to imitate her dorsal hump,
I tried to imitate her waddle
and her propensity to dawdle,
offering morsels from her cookie jar,
as she watched me from afar.
With not a filament of shame,
I went about my childish game,
beaming as I played the gimp,
miming her arthritic limp.
In my innocent portrayal
was the cruelest betrayal.
The family knew the shame was mine,
but as I toddled down the line
of people who filled up the room,
I gloried to the cheerful boom
of Grandma’s laugh as she piped up
to save this youngest clueless pup
from the shame I might have felt
if she had not approached and knelt
down next to me, gathering in
this cruel mime, absolving sin.
And though I thought the final line
would surely be a quip of mine,
aping her halting foreign speech
as I tried to avoid her reach,
she gathered me in loving hug
and giving an indulgent shrug,
said, “Forgive her, for she’s only three
and gets her sense of humor from me!”