Mornings I start your car
when I wake, walk the few steps
from porch to driveway to ensure
your four-minute drive to the train
is comfortable,

and at least that’s something
I learned from my father—
I no longer look to him
when it comes to being a husband
now that the veneer of my parents’ marriage
has fallen away,

but every morning now
I can remember that boy who woke up
to the sound of his mother’s car starting
and looked out the window
into the dark winter morning
and saw his father returning indoors,
his breath a halo of fog
around his head—

and for a few minutes more,
I can be that boy again.

Joe Volpe is a middle school English teacher in the Greater Boston area. Originally from Upstate New York, he attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts where he studied English with a concentration in Creative Writing and Poetry. His work has been selected for publication in Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, The Finger, Havik, Thirty West Publishing’s Tilde, and Cathexis Northwest Press, among others. His latest project is documenting his poetic journey on Instagram @joespoemaday.