My Hero

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Today’s poem of the day is one I wrote for my grandfather. He was a simple man, old-fashioned. He worked his entire life in a shoe factory, never owned a home, but he had the biggest heart. He was my hero. Growing up an only child and his only grandchild, I was spoiled. I mean SPOILED. Grandpa spoiled me with gifts, but mostly with love. Every Wednesday, my parents had a bowling league. Grandpa was my babysitter. We would go to the toy store and buy a toy to play with that night—–puzzles, coloring books, make-up sets. Whatever i wanted. He was magnificent. My heart broke into pieces when he died when i was 12 and, to be honest, it’s never really healed completely. This is for him.

Wednesday Nights on High Street

He pushes the screen door open and steps out on the creaking porch

The cold Pepsi bottle, covered in condensation, drips water on his wrinkled hand.

Sitting down in the mesh folding chair, he wipes his brow with a white handkerchief

And sighs.

He has sat here more times than he can count. White t-shirt stained with sweat from hours

At the shoe factory—nails and soles.

Waiting for the trains to pass, he wonders where they are going—

Faraway places he’s never seen.

She’ll be here soon. It’s Wednesday, just like clockwork she’ll tumble out of the car.

Keys to the Impala in hand, he’s ready for their next adventure—

Toys, coloring books and broken crayons, dress-up—

He wants to give her the world.

He doesn’t realize

 he already has.

©Allison Cline-Saia

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