My father has boots with a steel toe.
Under the stained skin
strains daily in elements
of dire snow and searing heat.
I rub my thumb over the rough patches
knock a knuckle
coerce the hollow clunk
to echo to my ears.
I would not lift my face from these books to slog through
the storms on those days.
He looks so tired.
The lines near his nose and eyes
appear like magic
like cracks in a sidewalk on a
where I had never seen them before.
My father has thick gloves, tough overalls
the kind that wage war against the clothes dryer,
the buckle loops shriek in circles
metallic cacophony in the basement.
The noise didn’t bother me.
Even reading books all day.
Daddy works on days we don’t leave the house.
I don’t want him to be cold.
I enchant his boots.
That hard, unbreakable shell.
Cast my own spell
to give him a little warmth.
I know he wears the special socks
thick woven like a sweater.
I pull them up to my elbows sometimes.
But I want the boots to do this;
Give him a little warmth
for that menacing cold, winter.