My Grandfather

I was five years old when my grandfather died.

For most of my life I have been without him.

But when I look in the mirror,

His nose and cheekbones reflect back at me

surrounding the forest eyes of his daughter.

The temper I try so hard to master is a legacy of his,

and my mind as well,

whether I am wasting it or not.

Would he be proud of me, of the woman I am becoming?

The woman who so desperately longs for the courage he had when he was sent to war

and didn’t run.

Who wishes for his tenacity, his goodness, his integrity.

Did he lie awake at night with worries for his life

or did he simply live it?

This man, the only man my grandmother could ever fall in love with,

This man who needed no recognition or permission,

When I look in the mirror, I see his face.

I hope my heart resembles his too.


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