when the internet and television did not exist,
a time when single pregnant women
were a disgrace
and you had to bind to
the rules of your sex.
In your childhood
you watched your parents
cultivating potatoes and corn,
bearing the storms of life.
You migrated with your siblings
at an early age,
the burden of being an immigrant
was your crown,
your accent faded away
and you married a nice, hard-working
There was no time for anything,
you told me;
Like a thoughtless ant
you worked from Monday to Monday
sewing the bed sheets where people
would have night dreams;
Efficiency was your jewel,
work your reason to be alive.
You filled hours with cakes and pies,
you scrubbed floors,
making them sparkle for
But on Sundays, once retired,
when you played cards with your friends,
I felt empty.
Your love might have been bigger
than your working frenzy to serve others
for I missed you,
even though you buried
your spirit under scrumptious food
and shining floors.
Now, at age ninety-eight,
dementia swallowing your soul,
bedridden, with brittle bones,
you smile at me,
you tell me that
there was no time for anything.
You had to sew from morning till night,
and then you made dinner.
My grandfather stayed up late
a bookworm—just like me—and
there was no time to make love.
Julia Hones is a creative spirit, an inquisitive mind, a poet, a writer and everything in-between. Her poems and stories have been published in an array of literary magazines and anthologies such as The Mindful Word, The Artistic Muse, Gadfly Online, TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism, The Voices Project, Black Mirror Magazine, Coffee Shop Poems, The Greensilk Journal, Epiphany Magazine, Vox Poetica, "You, Me & a Bit of We" Anthology and others. She is the poetry editor of Southern Pacific Review and runs a literary blog.http://juliahoneswritinglife.blogspot.com