Grandpa’s Cigar

The aroma of my grandfather’s cigar
released every ounce of tension
that reigned throughout my body.
I closed my eyes and saw his face:
all wrinkles and pudges,
his worn, round lips
puffing on that cigar,
just beneath the monster of a nose
that he gave us all.
Absolute security –
Grandpa sitting there in our living room:
church pants hiked up over his well-fed belly,
resting his tired body
that had worked to provide
since he was fourteen.
I couldn’t help but smile widely,
knowing Grandma’s homemade eclairs would soon be served
as the clanking of post-meal cleaning died down from the kitchen…

“Do you mind if I sit here, young lady?”
The crackly voice jolted me back to reality and
I opened my eyes to respond:
“Go right ahead, sir. I’m about to go back inside to check on my mom.
She’s in surgery and it feels like it should be finished by now.”
The old man took a puff on his cigar
as he plopped down on the bench beside me.
“Well, I’ll keep your seat warm in case you find out
you have to wait a little longer.”

I chuckled to myself
as I walked back into the hospital
and heard my voice whisper,
“Thanks Grandpa.”

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