Our winter nights as children
would find us lying next to the floor vent
of the heater, at most two of us at a time, in our old drafty house, just to stay warm.
Dad would line the windows
with plastic and stuff towels in
the cracks of the panes to
stop the cold air from coming through.
A few times, we only had
the heat of our oven to warm up the kitchen,
Several bedrooms were locked up
to conserve what heat we had,
dad would always drip water from the faucet
to keep the pipes from freezing
My parents couldn't afford much
in those days, not on a mechanic's wage,
and feeding a family of eight
Our warmth was what we had,
our bond in the winter months
It' was not much warmth, but it was ours.
Our walks to school were even colder,
bristling through the knee deep snow
in our second hand, Goodwill jackets
and two pairs of thin gloves and socks
to keep our fingers and toes from freezing.
Every morning, my mom would prepare us
either a hot, steeping bowl of oatmeal
or cream of wheat, the smell of dad's military
coffee lingered throughout the house,
long after he left for work.
It was those mornings, I remembered most though,
those 6 am mornings, in a old, drafty house,
you could hear my dad shuffling the newspaper
just before my mom would knock on our bedroom doors to get us up
Its been a month of your passing,
I can still hear you rustle the newspaper
and I can still smell your burnt military coffee
every morning since and I still don't want
to get out of bed
We didn't have much warmth in that old, drafty house, but it was all ours.
My father passed a month ago, I don't think I am over it quite yet