My Grandfather

I remember my grandfather’s wrinkled, rough hands as he
held mine.

I remember his big hug protecting me.

I remember my feeling inside this hug, his face fresh with mint
from his aftershave.

He was a man who worked outdoors with the earth and tended
a garden—he carried these scents, too.

He was calm with the scent of the oranges with lime that he
affectionately peeled every day for me and my three

I was his first granddaughter, so it was I who spent the most
time by his side.

And today, every day, when my husband prepares coffee,
this scent invades my memories and brings back all my
grandfather’s love.

I miss him. When I am scared, I remember these feelings,
I remember these scents, and it makes me feel safe again.

''Bruna Angélica Leão de Carvalho writes: “I was born in Brazil. I moved to New York two years ago, beginning a new life and learning another language. It has been a wonderful process. I’m a speech and language pathologist, audiologist, and lactation consultant. In my free time, I love to run along the Hudson River and know new places.” Bruna Leão studies with Lead Instructor Terry Sheehan at the New York Public Library’s Seward Park branch.