Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Puerto Rican Parade by ambermarie0926 - Photobucket

"La Bendicion."
"Bless me grandmother".
This initiated the tiny ritual,
a habit instilled, 
like manners and respect your elders.
Her response implored God 
to bless and care for me.
"Que Dios te bendiga y te cuide, mija."

I complied with this cultural mandate 
nightly before sleep,
including the night before my oral tests,
declaring me competent
to teach a beautiful, foreign language.
Grandmother never understood
why I chose French.
This made no sense.
But she blessed me.

Need we analyze this?
My choice was based on adolescent separation,
rejection of things I thought I knew:
the language of my mothers 
neither beautiful nor foreign,
was forbidden in my school,
spoken by those who
"No spic English." 
I look back gratefully at my long life,
my cultural duality,
French played such a little part.  
Spanish remained
ingrained in my tongue, 
like grandmother's blessings
in my soul.

"Merci Grand-maman."
"Gracias Abuela."
"Thank you, grandmother."

(For Poets United.)


  1. I empathise with the appreciation and respect you have for your cultural duality. So you are trilingual...Impressed!

  2. Aww, this is nice! "Rejection of things I thought I knew", I know that feeling all too well!! When we're young we think we know so much! That's great that you know many languages. Cheers to that and to this lovely writing :)

  3. The mother tongue in the end rules out even if only in our hearts.
    Fine words amiga

  4. smiles. def an interesting choice in french...and i think maybe a little adolescent rebellion/independence...but i think it is important that we keep those cultural connections...they add beautiful layers...

  5. This is a fascinating tale, Myrna. Your grandmother must have been a very special woman.I'm sure that she was proud of your fluency in THREE languages. Not many can claim that!

  6. Bravo, Myrna. Je ne savais pas que vous aviez enseigné le français. Very touching poem. I like the way you portray the relationship with your grandmother and your mother tongue.

  7. Yes, the true mother's tongue becomes more precious the older we grow.........your grandmother will be well pleased with you, my friend.

  8. A beautiful poem! To remember this source of the prayer is a blessing indeed. The rebellion that flings us out into the world doesn't block this love of the mothers from the heart nor their language from the tongue. I love the end thanking Grandmother in all three languages. The quotes, bits of dialogue and question brought me completely into the poem. Positive and Moving!

  9. aww...that was the age of rebellion...we return to mother tongue in the end...specially enjoyed your thanks to your grandmother :)

  10. What a beautiful integration of all these fragments that make you - wonderful!

  11. si, Myrna, qui hablamos les mismo languages

    gracias para estas palabras

  12. Yes the unused is faster gone than that learned young.

  13. those blessings are so important and give us the backup we need in times when we need to find our own way - and be it with another language... glad you had the courage to find your way myrna

  14. How wise you were to embrace three languages which broadened your conception and understanding of the world. Grandparents look at their grandchildren knowing the little ones will learn more and go further than they ever did.

  15. The honor vibrates within this poem...beautiful work, Myrna.

  16. Myrna,

    The difficulties experienced by the languages of nationality and location. Hard to comply with educational musts and to retain the wishes of heritage.