i did the dishes because i didn’t know what to say.

february 11, 2019 — 2:44 am.


i’ve never witnessed a blue heron in the city —

i’ve never drank a triple ipa that i enjoyed —

i’ve never watched a squirrel push a turtle off a log —

i’ve never gone to a hardcore metal show and flailed my arms inhumanly —

i’ve never been asked by a complete stranger to join them as they drive their RC Trucks off some sweet jumps in the park —

— until today.


i’ve never seen my grandma cry,

until today.


she made us tea and greeted me with a kiss on the cheek,

i made sure to kiss her back.

she’s not old — she’s antique,

and she’s defeated aging by simply believing that everyone deserves love all of the time.

she never stops spreading it,

and neither did my grandpa.


she was the sea to a sailor who was fervent about voyaging.

he sought to explore every ripple from the rain to roars from the night storms.

he was adventurous, patient, and romantic.

he enjoyed the peaceful waters along with the painful ones.

he woke up every morning genuinely in love with his life,

because pursuing her depths was always a priority in his mind.


and to her,

he was vacation.

he was safe.

he was holding hands at disneyland.

he was traveling the US in a motor home, stopping at every lighthouse along the way,

because he knew she loved them.

he was there — every day — to tell her that she is beautiful, and that life is good.


their love was my first encounter with poetry.

the freedom of expression artistically displayed through sharing affection.

communicating every hurting section of their individualism.

conveying cadences that castrates self-indulgences and creates a pair of caring characters.

coming together; they reveal their adoration.

she wanted to exist next to him,

it was her desire.

he wanted to exist next to her.

it was his choice.

they loved themselves, while loving one another,

and they never stopped spreading this love to others.


i’ve never witnessed myself doing yoga shirtless —

i’ve never drank an old fashioned with olives —

i’ve never watched a group of sea lions bark rather annoyingly in unison —

i’ve never gone to a marina and seen a clean shaven ass crack from a hairy man who looked kinda like chris farley mixed with jack black —

i’ve never been told by a complete stranger that their sorry for my hairline —

— until today.


i’ve never read my poetry in front of my grandma,

i’ve never seen my grandma cry,

i’ve never cried in front of my grandma,

until today.


she said she sees him in my writing,

so i washed the dishes for her.

29 thoughts on “i did the dishes because i didn’t know what to say.

  1. I went in expecting a poem about a fight in a relationship, I came out rather happy that I was wrong. This was a beautiful poem. I especially loved the line “She’s not old – she’s antique” so much care displayed in just those five words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This reminds me that when my uncle came to tell us that my father had passed away in the hospital, my reaction was to stand up, go into the kitchen, and wash the dishes that had been sitting there ignored.

    Because there were no words left to say and there was nothing left inside me.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My grandfather in a nursing home at 92 was mad because his son..my dad was holding the hand of of my grandmother..nellie….
    So he asked me…who is that man with my woman? Grandpa knew me..the grandson..but not his own…I had no dishes to do so I took him for a walk…and he perd in his shoes. Antique aged people have so many problems. I hope you continue to write about your grandma.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow. That is beautiful. I’m pretty blown away actually – by your style and by the way you build emotions out of words. It’s very cool. I’m so glad your like led me here. I’m loving your work. I can’t wait to read more. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely stunning work. I could feel your love for poetry and for your grandparents through the my computer screen and it moved my tiny shriveled up birb heart. I love how you built it up, the flow, organization and how it flowed so naturally but meticulous to that very last line that ties it altogether. Brilliant work and definitely looking forward to reading more of your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love my grandma and visit her every two weeks. She always tells me the same things and I used to tell her the new things but lately I also tell her the same things. She is 87 and I love also how beautifully antique she is. Perhaps I should also read her poetry. Perhaps she will stop telling me about Bingo, Word Searches and how she is not afraid of dying (although that part always makes me smile). Keep up the good writing and musing.

    PS i am super jealous of your Old Stuff tab – I really want to keep my past four years writing tucked to the side but still visible. I have been sorting and sifting through templates and formatting all weekend. Sorting out how I want to bring my blog forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. PPS I washed dishes for my household of six when my four little boys were blowing my mind in good ways and bad. I never wanted a dishwasher like all the other moms did. They are mostly grown up now and I work during the day but I still hand wash the dishes at work much to every bodies confusion. I find it very relaxing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s in the details, the beautiful details, that make this poem so wonderful. What else could you do, considering the situation, but wash the dishes for her. I so love this. (Seems your grandma is sharing her love with me through your poetry.)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great post! Lucky you are to have this grandmother in your life.
    Doing the dishes is a marvelous focal point in telling this – basic, ever-repeating task, yet each episode somehow offering sense of accomplishment. (I actually do dishes by hand for the Zen effects of the warm water on my hands.)

    Liked by 1 person

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