From Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul

My Puerto Rican Grandmother

Here’s to Grandma’s unanswered prayers.
Here’s to the saints and the Virgin that
comforted her through millions of salty tears,
cried through long, dark and tempestuous nights.
Here’s to Puerto Rico, the family she left behind,
all her belongings in a suitcase, on a ship, Brooklyn bound.
Here’s to her elusive dreams, her seamstress hands,
strong will and nerves which stood on end.
Here’s to a religion that never did recognize the
toils of its women, to the children she fed,
clothed and sacrificed herself for working day and night,
lost in the humidity and futility of Panamá.
Here’s to the Great Depression and the war,
to can rations and soup bones.
Here’s to a woman who held on so that myself and
others would enter this world.
All things said and done, her prayers were answered
and life she might have never imagined manifested.

Patricia L. Herlevi Balquin

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