My dad’s father stepped in front of a train 31 years before I was born.
I can imagine he had brown eyes and black hair.
Short, Mexican, maybe a swagger in his shoulders.
But mostly, I’m sure of his smile.
It’s mirrored by my father.
My Grandmother had long hair and a stern jaw,
four not husbands and seven children.
Of the sons, father is the youngest, the softest
and the most mostly sober.
He stopped before I was born
and down the road from my house
red eyed men with knarled, crooked steps
and stale dragon breath,
dare me to imagine my father in their shoes.
He is a kind, amusing man and I almost can’t believe.
But his front teeth are cut straight across
ground down by snapping the caps off bottles,
and he has a little box of coins on his dresser.
But today, they are all gone.
I believed in his strength
and his smile and his humor.
Now, I believe in his sickness,
and fear the reflection of his father in his smile.