grandfather

hot headed
just like
grandfather showed me
how fierce words could be
sharp and precise
swift and hurtful
he told me i had a gift
to use it wisely.
impatient 
just like
grandfather taught me
the importance of self
never let them reduce you 
to their level
because, puth, you 
shine like your birthstone
next to these faded rocks.
stubborn
just like
grandfather used to 
pat my cheeks, 
eyes bright with pride
i did not understand
never let them tell you
you can’t be what you want
to be, who you are
what you are.
emotional
grandfather saw it
as a weakness in me
shoulders straight
hold your jaw
twenty six years later
i never learned
how to pull
my heart off my sleeve
grandfather did say
i reminded him of
grandmother.

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