May 29, 2015

Overtime


As a man handy
around the house,
my father wasn't much,
my mother had always said,
though how she became
such an expert,
was a secret
she took to an early grave.
Perhaps because
her own father
puttered endlessly
in the workshop
down in his basement,
behavior my father
would never have known,
as his own father
was forever gone,
away at the railroad yard.

Growing up,
I never heard
much small talk,
or observations
about the neighbors,
as my father
spoke of little
unrelated to his rising star,
learning to run
the railroad, himself.
I watched him
sit politely,
looking bored,
wondered
how soon
he would
have to leave,
knowing how ripe
he had become
for all
the new overtime,
now.