At eighty-one years young,
my father strides through cold rain to the van
protecting my mother from damp night air.
On house-cleaning days,
he bends on arthritic knees to scrub toilets
freeing her from similar pain.
he gently cleans her limbs with warm rags,
cherishing her body as it heals.
They say daughters marry a man like their father,
but I surely didn’t.
Do gentlemen like my father
exist amongst my generation?
Two years ago and post-divorce
a man asked me to dinner,
a glorious summer evening
full of warm expectation.
But he didn’t open the car door
or the restaurant door.
I knew it was over before the salads came.