Abuelito

Another poem for my English class. This is my recollection of my earliest memory of my dad’s father.

He laughed as I attempted to take refuge behind my daddy’s legs,

But daddy stepped away leaving me abandoned: the ultimate betrayal.

Then two tan hands

With long, bony, ringed, fingers

Found their way to me and lifted me in the air.

No amount of squirming could free me.

There I was, facing a wrinkled, unfamiliar face, whose creases

Left an angry maze around his eyes, mouth, and forehead.

He smiled at me,

But his teeth showed the result of 50 years of smoking:

Yellow, rotting.

I shuddered.

His bushy gray eyebrows matched the color of his strange furry cap.

As he pulled me closer,

I tried again to wriggle free,

But his old arms were still strong enough to defeat me.

I was trapped uncomfortably

As the shiny, gold, military pins on his jacket dug into my arm.

My nose crinkled and twitched.

The cigarette smoke and cheap cologne his clothes had been soaked in

Were unfamiliar to the nose of a 3 year old.

He repositioned me in his arms so we were face to face again.

My heart was thumping wildly.

How I hated to be held by strangers.

But his light brown eyes, though sunken in his face, calmed me with a rush of familiarity-

They looked like daddy’s.

I found the courage to smile at him.

Then a string of raspy, foreign words flew out of his mouth and left me frightened again.

He set me down,

And I ran back behind my daddy’s legs.

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