His hand curled around a dime,
challenging me to pry open
each finger one at a time.
His workman’s hands,
all bruised and rough,
were iron claws
I struggled against.

The dime, a fortune’s worth
of candy in the 1950s
when penny candy
was still just a penny.
But it was not the dime,
it was the time with him,
grasping his hand,
using all my strength
to please him.