My Grandfather Smelled Like Morocco

By Sarah Flora Chocron

I remember being small and hugging 
his wide and comforting figure 
and feeling the prickly tweed of his sport jacket 
against my cheeks 
and smelling 
the aniseed Arak liquor 
the dried tea mint leaves 
the strong cologne he wore 
the pounds of cumin in his suitcase 
the semolina bread dipped in Argan oil 
the other side of the Atlantic on Casablanca’s shores 
the fabric with which he made caftans and dresses 
the air of El Hafid Street 

And I wondered how all these things could 
combine into one scent 
that persisted and remained every time 
he traveled to see me 
perhaps it was a smell that all grandfathers carried 
perhaps it was Morocco 
or perhaps it was the aroma of his 
generosity that outpoured towards 
all those deserving, deemed by the virtue 
of having a beating heart.

Sarah Flora Chocron is a sophomore from Montreal, QC, and Wichita, KS, studying information science and history. As a writer, she is an alum of both the Lake Forest Writing and Thinking Workshop and the SCAD Summer Seminar in Media Writing for which she credits much of her growth as a poet. She was previously published in 826 National’s Poets in Revolt!, The Mire, The Decameron Project, and Élan’s International Student Magazine. She enjoys writing poetry that memorializes people, places, or customs that are most dear to her and is grateful to be featured in Cellar Door’s online publication.