Nonna

I’ve never liked the smell of cigarettes
though in smokey rooms nostalgia presents itself and reminds me of you
I’m small enough to fit on your lap again, your legs still sturdy to support all of my weight
your tobacco ambrosia hands don’t shake as they ruffle through my hair

Your arms then, still wide enough to cover me from the seeping cold as I put all my efforts towards doing the same for you
I look up to you, my lacking mother figure
and you smile as I trace the lines on your face, grown richer through the years — a story for each line I imagine

Of course, you could never tell me them yourself
but by your expressions and tone, I imagined they held a lot more value than your dialect could literate for me
We didn’t need words to communicate
your warm chest and the beat of your heart said enough

Every meal prepared together and every smile shared, we communicated more than I did with most

As long as I was with you
It never mattered that I didn’t like the smell of cigarettes

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