You stroke your few strands of
hair as you steady the teaspoon
to the open mouth of your child.
Around the eatery
people look and think about how
young your wife is and how old you are
and what did that girl see in you
when you’re not rich or
famous and only your forehead
shows any prominence.
Times are hard, they keep saying;
a maiden must be practical.
But you are thankful for this young
woman who bore you a boy,
not your own blood but your own still,
kissing your forehead with what you
think to be one-half respect,
warming your arthritic nights
like a kindly nurse to a refugee.
You joke and ask if she’s not repulsed
her husband smells like sawdust.
She smiles and says,
as if to read your thoughts,
“I’m a refugee too.”