Grandpa and Grandma Tiger

Golden Anniversary

Have you seen walking around town
a man who looks lost and forlorn?
He is in search of a woman he thought he knew
except she may have told him one little fib.
You see the man is my husband and for years
he believed my birthday was April 29, 1911.
But in fact…
I was really born in 1910.
I had no other choice but to lie to him.
He would never marry an older woman
and I knew I was eight months older than he.

This poem is based off the true story of my grandparents courtship. They did meet in grade school and even back in the dark ages 😉 teachers would announce birthdays. Well my grandma knew my grandfather’s birthday was in December so when her birthday came around in April she told him she was born in 1911. A lie that lasted, I’ve been told, for decades. It wasn’t until my grandfather went down to the social security office (to set up retirement payments?) and he learned her true age, because they did not have a record for an Estelle Tiger born in 1911 but they did have one for the same name and birthday but in 1910.

I wrote this poem yesterday a combination of the #NaPoWriMo and @piper_center prompts. It is a funny monologue about my grandparents’ 50th anniversary portrait – not exactly what the photo sees looking outward more like what was occurring inward.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Eight

Obituary Paul M Tiger 1989

Paul M Tiger

I met and fell in love
in grade school unaware
she was an older woman.
We married in 1932
and raised four children.

I lived most of my years
in the garden state
and spent summer hours
toiling over the vegetables
I grew in my backyard.

Married over fifty years
my beloved wife, Estelle Ellett
preceded me in death.
One afternoon in June
I was found by her gravestone.

Gravestone – Estelle and Paul Tiger Photo: Randy Tiger

NaPoWriMo Prompt Today, I’d like to challenge you to read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. Not a famous person, necessarily – perhaps a remembered acquaintance from your childhood, like the gentleman who ran the shoeshine stand, or one of your grandmother’s bingo buddies. As with Masters’ poems, the monologue doesn’t have to be a recounting of the person’s whole life, but could be a fictional remembering of some important moment, or statement of purpose or philosophy. Be as dramatic as you like – Masters’ certainly didn’t shy away from high emotion in writing his poems.

Good afternoon and welcome to day eight of #NaPoWriMo. I’m not sure I have the exact flavor of the prompt down. But the memories I have of my grandparents are few. I do remember the garden my grandpa had in his backyard and driving on the tractor with him when we would visit. I also remember when we moved down the street on Nottingham; I had found some little seed and planted it in our new backyard before the sod was placed down. My grandparents came to visit and I walked my grandpa over to the seed I planted. He saw the sprout and told my mom to leave it. He wasn’t sure what it was but was curious enough he wanted to see it grown and harvest. So the first summer in our new home, one corner of the backyard remained a dirt patch. And come fall we discovered my little seed was Indian corn. We pulled it and my mom used the one ear (it only grew one) as fall decoration on the front porch.