On Winter Nights
After all those years
of watching him walk out the front door
in a worn brown coat and stocking cap,
into the chilly mist,
when he worked on the car
at night under a hanging bulb, when he locked himself
in his shop where his saw wailed into the forest
what could explain
his expressionless gaze when he slid the bolt
and opened the door to look at me when I fetched him
to the house for a phone call?
Why couldn’t I leave him alone?
His shop has become my writing desk,
whether he cared to share that space with me or not,
and now, like him, I lock the door.