After the Second Shift

After the Second Shift

by Liz Dolan


on the New Haven
his pea coat collar pulled up
against the New York cold
my father trudges to the subway
to meet my mother,
stands on the top step
whistling as she ascends.
About her shoulders, he wraps
a homespun shawl, cups her elbow
in his hand to keep her safe
pulls her close to keep her warm.

In the apple-green kitchen
the stove turned on for heat
he brews tea, butters her
a bit of soda bread. They peruse
the ten p.m. edition of the Daily News.
He checks spring
training, she pencils the puzzle,
fresh ink print on her arm.

But they have lost
so many kids he does not speak.
He is grateful for her silence
for the chipped enamel table,
for their quickened children
tangled in white sheets.

I like to think every night
of his life he treasured her
like an amethyst
encased in glass. I like to think
he knew she was the leaven in
his life. I like to think.

refers from This is Not a Train Poem by Val Dering Rojas

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