My father

My father used to smell of work,
of bricks and mortar, wood and earth.

His hands looked like wood, weathered and rough,
strong when he held me and gentle to touch.

His arms were like rope, knotted and dark,
and tied me close to him anytime I was scared.

His legs were steel pistons, powerful fast,
but never so much that I’d ever be lost.

His shoulders were broad, and pulled more than his weight.
He carried us all for more years than he might.

His face was a map, marked with life’s ups and downs,
that showed me where happiness could always be found.

Though his hands are now softened, arms and legs no longer strong,
shoulders drooped, face more lined, my father’s heart’s still made of gold.

Arthur Adlen


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