What My Dad Has Done for Me - A Poem

It’s 4:30 am.

He wakes up to the same alarm at the same time every morning,

And firmly presses snooze just to saver his few extra minutes.

10 minutes pass and the phone charms again. With a huff he knows

the day has begun.

He lets the water from the shower head open his eyes

and applies a handful of soap on the top of his head where hair once grew.

Before he walks out the door, he grabs his daily yogurt and fuji apple

from the fridge.

The fresh morning air reminds him of what lies ahead-

his daily sacrifice.

His jeeps growls with the turn of a key as it’s just as awake as him.

As his right hand changes the gear from park to reverse,

He thinks about what brought him here in the first place.

He pictures his wife, who still lays in bed with the leftover residue of his kiss on her forehead.

He thinks of his son that’s soon to follow in his morning routine,

to provide for his own little girl now.

He veers right onto I-87 South,

Then remembers his oldest daughter, that he passed by downstairs,

knocked out on the couch after serving countless drinks

to old misogynist men the night before because

she doesn’t see the potential that he sees.

He reads “Interstate 90 New York Buffalo, Exit 25 MPH”

and slows down as the toll booth light switches from red to green.

He imagines what his youngest daughter is doing a mere 71 miles away,

And if she would “always be his little girl?”

The jeep shifts from drive to park.

The men are buzzing around

as he reaches for his red hard hat and puts it down on his bald head.

He gives the men their directions while his phone rings again, and again, and again.

He finds himself in meeting, after meeting, after meeting.

Time continues and the hours pass.

It’s 8:00 pm.

Now his phone battery holds more energy than him.

The cold door knob doesn’t phase his calloused hands as he turns it to the right.

He leaves his struggles at the front mat with his worn out work boots.

He looks at the microwave that holds what was once a warm meal.

His cheerful wife smacks him with a kiss and two little girls come running

yelling “GRANDPA” and sit their butts on the closest foot.

The night is short. He rests his head back down on his familiar pillow

and lets his eyes weigh heavy.

His phone begins to charm.

It’s 4:30 am,

and he’s ready to endure it all again for them.