Poem: Grandpa Drinking Tea by Mark Tulin

Grandpa puts a Lipton teabag in the cup

and drinks tea while looking out the window

in the house that he built.


He tells the story about how he endured the desert heat,

how he woke up early in the morning 

and supervised a hundred men doing highway work.


Grandpa drinks tea while munching on a sugar cookie,

looks out the window at his big, yellow flowers

and daydreams about his long life in Spanish.


He talks about how the dam once broke,

how the water poured into the valley and flooded Santa Paula,

how he survived the flood that carried many of his friends away.


He talks about the Mexican woman he married in Ventura,

how they won all kinds of money at a Las Vegas casino,

how they drove back and forth in their Buick LeSabre.


The story about his life is simple but honest.

He woke before sunrise and did hard labor,

his fingers are old and fragile where there once was strength. 


Grandpa takes the last sip of his tea from the cup,

closes his eyes 

and daydreams about his long life in Spanish.


This poem first published in the Scarlet Leaf Review in the March/April 2019 issue.

Photo by Alice Tulin


I am an author, poet, humorist, and short story writer from Palm Springs, California. I write about various topics, from my early childhood in Philadelphia to my years as a family therapist and finally to my soul-searching in California. These are poetic narratives that may have humorous or serious content or both. Either way, I hope my poetry and stories resonate with you.

24 comments on “Poem: Grandpa Drinking Tea by Mark Tulin

  1. This is a charming piece of writing. The Buick LeSabre is a wonderful touch that speaks volumes.

  2. I love, love, love this poem!!

  3. love this…………..and the picture is outstanding too!

  4. Touching my heart, Mark.
    Thank you and congratulations.

  5. Oh my gosh, Mark! I hope my Mom reads this poem. It’s such a loving tribute to my Grandpa and her Dad! You described him perfectly. How many times do I remember sitting by him and listening to his stories. Thank you so very, very much for sharing this loving tribute to him!

  6. I’m so glad you’re part of my family to do it! You have an amazing way of expressing all of our feelings!

    • I hate to say it, but that’s by accident, Theresa. I’m really expressing my feelings and thoughts. But thanks, anyway. 🙂🙂😁

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