Rubbed Out

How I'll remember my father--
my adult father; the one who listens
when I beg him not to try
to make home repairs without me--
is sitting on the edge of his recliner today
shining his shoes
before my uncle's Christmas party.
His hands worked patiently
as he stared at the television
chiming in with chosen words
when he heard my punctuation.

It took some heavy brushing
and a few layers of polish
to work out the scuffs
and make the leather respectable again
but when he was done
they could have been sold:
An old trick by an old man
who grew up shining shoes
for his namesake.

He still had the knack
and sense of humble wisdom.
He wasn't too proud
to make due or amend.
My three-year-old brother
ran into the room and I thought
I'll have to tell him someday.

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