He would sit for hours
In his old wooden rocking chair,
With a glass of homemade red wine,
The Divina Commedia in his lap,
And a snuffbox on the table beside him.
Under a floorlamp whose orange lampshade
Haloed his balding head,
My mother's father, Luigi,
Would immerse himself in profundities.
And while the rest of my family played
Briscola or listened to the radio,
I would watch my grandfather reading
Dante sotto voce. He was once
Even knowing it.