After a day at school
Geppetto places a china bowl
of tomato soup on the rickety table,
rising steam covers tears threatening
to spill, ‘ridiculous old age weakness,’ –
the clock’s cuckoo calls the son home.
Beside the steaming bowl, a P
painted in bright red, his fingertips
touch the letter, he positions
a warm roll, plenty of melting butter,
just as his son likes it.
His hears the clicking of feet,
resists, as he does most afternoons,
the eager turn to the window to watch
his wooden son dance down the street –
a wooden creek making its way home.
His heart performs leaps
as he waits for the hand he carved
during lonely nights,
with only the singing crickets
as companions to his desire,
to take hold of the handle,
and turn the nob - the door
opens, the figure washed
into shadow by the streetlights’
blanket of fluorescent light.
‘Good evening papa,’
that familiar falsetto
filling the empty room
is enough to drag an old heart
into bursting, springtime joy.