A sound I never knew before
In silent winter storms
The scrape of metal on concrete.

I don’t know the man who takes the time
To salt the sidewalk
To shovel snow
Only that the paths are cleared
He tends to trodden places not his own

I’d rather not know
I want to believe he is a middle-aged dad
And this is how he shows his love.

Is there one on every block?
Is the an entire army of dads
Who brave the cold
To feel useful
To take pride in labor
To survey their kingdoms?

Does he keep the shovel by the door?
Do his fingers itch?
Does he look out the window
Waiting for the perfect moment
The way my dad looks at blades of grass?
I like to think so.

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