Grandad’s Socks…

This weekend the UK will celebrate Mother’s Day and, as a girl, both grandmothers and great grandmothers were recognised too, for they were as much a part of the maternal teaching I received as a child as my own mother. This was written a couple of years ago, but as I’ve been caught up in making and fettling for the past few days, this poem came to mind, so I thought I’d share it again. It is a true story, and great grandma always seemed to choose the brightest colours for her darning…

“Tha’ mun mek’ do an’ mend, little lass,” Granny said

As she planted her small wisdom-seeds,

“Tha’ll not allus get what tha’ wants in this life…

And tha’ll not allus ‘ave what tha’ needs.”


Whenever I’ve needed the things I don’t have

Granny’s words have put me on my mettle.

“…an’ what tha’ can’t buy, tha can probably mek’…

And what tha’ can’t mek’, tha’ can fettle.”


I remember it well, though it’s long, long ago,

I was but a small lass at her knee,

And I watched as she darned Grandad’s old holey sock,

Weaving slowly so that I could see.


The needle went over and under each thread

As the wool wove a web through the breach.

She was working with love at necessity’s call…

A lesson she wanted to teach.


Where there had been naught but a great gaping hole

Her deft fingers were weaving the wool,

Where once there was nothing a ‘something’ was made

So the void in the sock was soon full.


The wool didn’t match, you could see every thread,

There was no way the colours could hide,

But when Grandad put on his now newly-darned sock

I could see that he wore it with pride.


And I watched something pass in the space inbetween,

Eye to eye, heart to heart, without sound…

Of a love and a life they had shared for so long

That they shone with a beauty profound.


I may not have all that I want, it is true,

And my needs may not always be met,

But watching my grandparents’ unspoken love

Taught a lesson I will not forget.


She could have just bought him a new pair of socks

So the old ones could be thrown away.

Instead her old fingers had woven and worked

So he walked in her love every day.


The ‘something’ that blossoms where ‘nothing’ once was,

If in caring and love it is grown,

Is the one priceless gift that a pauper can give

Yet that even a king cannot own.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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60 Responses to Grandad’s Socks…

  1. Violet Lentz says:

    Brilliant tribute to so many things. Grandma, love, creating.. Just brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joylennick says:

    Sue, That is one gem of a poem! And, oh …..”So he walked in her love every day.” (Having suffered the Great Depression in the 1920s, my own dear mum was always ‘making do and mending.’ One of her oft heard expressions was “That’ll do fine…” But she never had to mend her love…) Hugs xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. joylennick says:

    Here’s my old sock poem…
    i must tell you of a romance
    that’s sadly on the rocks;
    not between the sexes
    but between some classy socks.

    It started up last Christmas Day,
    when Aunt Louise arrived to stay.
    She put a box beneath the tree
    containing lovers: he and me.

    A present for her favourite: Fred –
    ( a studded Punk with hair of red),
    In bovver boots we both did tread,
    and vowed we’d be forever wed.

    We snuggled in the sock drawer,
    we ran, we walked, we washed.
    hung side by side upon the line,
    and by the winds were tossed.

    And then one day
    he went away, without an explanation,
    so here I lie with nylon strangers expecting expiration.

    Where oh where has my darling sole-mate gone?
    I really am bereft and feeling quite alone.
    I’ve heard there is a ‘sock-hole,’
    where lost socks gravitate,
    I hope that isn’t true
    as I’m pining for my mate.

    If you come across him,
    do to him relate
    that I miss him dearly every day
    and want to know his fate.
    (With apologies…) Joy Lennick xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. jenanita01 says:

    The perfect tribute to Mother’s Day, and what it really means to beloved sons and daughters…


  5. TanGental says:

    You do nail things with them here poems, you know. another splendid version… I wish the old man were still alive, he’d adore your oeuvre, you know..


  6. This is beautiful Sue.


  7. Sadje says:

    I love this. The words and the beautiful concept.


  8. Jennie says:

    Wonderful tribute, Sue!


  9. Pingback: Grandad’s Socks… | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo | Campbells World

  10. noelleg44 says:

    What a wonderful way to celebrate Mother’s Day! I,too, was taught to darn by my grandmother and still do it, when necessary (!). Love to all mothers….


  11. Alli Templeton says:

    A really lovely poem Sue. It triggered all sorts of warm and happy memories for me. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  12. Ennle Madresan says:

    This is pure Beauty!


  13. I love the idea of walking in her love every day Sue. A wonderful poem. Thanks so much for sharing it again


  14. Jordy says:

    Happy Mother’s Day, Sue!! 💕💕


  15. I love this, so beautiful. 💕


  16. This is too precious! How beautifully you caught the feelings… Well done!


  17. willowdot21 says:

    I did enjoy this 💜💜


  18. Eliza Waters says:

    I still have my mom’s darning egg – such memories I cannot let go!


  19. dgkaye says:

    Beautiful Sue. Wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day ❤


  20. Widdershins says:

    I always like to do my darns and mends in contrasting colours. There’s something wickedly subversive about it. 😀


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