My father climbed into his semi
like a king onto his throne.
His skin was stained brown by
the harsh sun, unprotected
by the tractor he commanded the eve’n before.
His sleep came inside an old coffee thermos,
the one thing he was never without.
My mother watched as her beloved chased
yet another paycheck down the highway;
her calloused hands wiped my tears
as confidently as they ruled our little home.
You could see the worry she held
by the way she always double-checked
that our doors were locked at night.
A steady flow of tenderness and faithfulness
radiated from their worn faces.
The endless hours they toiled
taught me the meaning of work
and I began to realize that it’s best done
when done out of love for another,
not love of thyself.
Torri Brooke is an undergraduate senior currently pursuing a degree in English and Creative Writing. Torri is also the managing editor of a Nashville based literary journal, The Cumberland River Review.