The Meaning of "Love"

My father’s hands were calloused

And rough, worn down from years of labor.

Those hands – the tough hands I brushed

As a child – they were an immigrant’s honor.

They fought for us, always, when my mother

Knew no English; shielded us from

The horrors all around; guided us to another

Path, one he never had, with a brighter outcome.


Study, and you’ll find a job that won’t leave

You aching; study so his struggle can be worth it

One day; study so he’ll stay quiet. Please,

Please stay quiet just this once… He would sit,

Seeing nothing but the vibrant screen – reverie

Broken at the sight of my mother. Why hadn’t she done

His laundry yet? Where was remote for the TV?

She told me stories from when they first met; love

Had been sweet and jubilant then. He showed his

True colors decades later, when she was alone

In a new country, with no one else to turn to. This

Was love – beautiful, toxic, volatile – and it shook me to the bone.

This poem is about: 
My family
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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