16 pages 32 minutes read

Sandra Cisneros

Abuelito Who

Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 1922

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Symbols & Motifs

Rain & Coins

Rain and coins appear—symbolically and literally—at the poem’s beginning and the end, first in Lines 1-2, “Abuelito who throws coins like rain / and asks who loves him,” and again in Line 21, “is the rain on the roof that falls like coins.” Just as the memory of her grandfather asking who loves him frames the poem, so does this image of rain and coins. At the beginning of the poem, the speaker makes the simile about her grandfather showering coins, raining them from above, implying that he was willing to spend his money on the people whom he loved. Much as rain is a blessing, the coins her grandfather showered down were blessings too. Therefore, when the speaker hears the rain by the poem’s end, it reminds her of her grandfather’s generosity and kindness. The rain is a bittersweet reminder of the joyous and loving way her grandfather lived his life, and she can imagine his voice in the sound of it falling on the roof, “asking who loves him / who loves him who?” (Lines 22-23).