Tag Archives: blog poetry

My Grandson, The Chipotle Apprentice.


Of note: What follows is a work of original blog fiction. Only the business card printed above is real. (Also: Chipotle does make quesadillas; they’re just on the secret menu.)

My grandson is named Charlie.
I love him very much.
He is 22 years old.
He has a degree in fine arts from SUNY-Schenectety, the Harvard of east central New York.
Charlie works as an apprentice at Chipotle.

Charlie has a warm smile.
The edges of his lips twist when he laughs.
He likes to lock his fingers behind my back when he hugs me.
He hair droops over his eyes, like a wilting azalea leaf.
Charlie works as an apprentice at Chipotle.

When he was in first grade, he wanted to be a fire fighter.
In the third grade, he wanted to be a scientist.
In the fifth grade, he saw a film on Sptunik and wanted to be a cosmonaut.
In the sixth grade, he got sick on the ‘It’s a Small World’ ride and changed his mind.
Charlie works as an apprentice at Chipotle.

On Monday, he called to say hello.
He says he likes what he does.
There have been apprentices for bakers, for dressmakers, for craftsmen — all honorable professions.
Why not burrito makers?
He says that he is the protégé of the burrito press.
The successor of the salsa.
One day, all the tortilla touches will be his.
There is a full moon out tonight.
He says it looks like a giant, uncooked, floury shell.
He thinks it might go well with some carnitas and corn-based salsa.
Charlie works as an apprentice at Chipotle.

I know Charlie is just in that transitional phase that happens when ‘What do you want to be?’ turns into ‘What do you want to do?’
But I know that transitions never really end.
I know that empowerment isn’t easy.
I know that destiny can be hard to grab.
I know true success has a way of staying just out of reach.
Charlie works as an apprentice at Chipotle.

I wonder if I will have great grandchildren one day.
I wonder if I will see my grandson married.
I wonder what they will serve at the wedding.
At the bar mitzvah, Charlie had those little quesadilla squares for hors d’oeuvres.
Chipotle doesn’t make quesadillas.
I wonder if they’d make an exception for him.
Charlie works as an apprentice at Chipotle.

In twenty minutes, the girls will come over to play bridge.
Muriel will talk about her grandson, the lawyer in Springfield.
Mariel will talk about her granddaughter, the med student in Eugene.
Sarah will talk about her grandson, the policeman in St. Paul.
I will not talk about my grandson, because I do not know what I would say, and I do not know what they would say.
It is not that I am ashamed of him.
It is not that I don’t love him.
I know he’s just figuring things out, and that’s okay with him.
It’s just harder on me, that’s all.
Charlie works as an apprentice at Chipotle.

At 7, Charlie was precocious.
At 12, he was precious.
At 13, he became a man.
At 22, he’s still becoming one.
I hope he does before I die.