Love Was by Dawn Steiner

I never said I love you
to my father
nor he to me
Love was a shoulder ride
my father’s handkerchief
three-corner knotted
on my head
love was the treat
secreted in his coat pocket
on Friday nights

Love was pennies
for the corner store
banana popsicles
a bouquet of daisies
displayed in a jar
on the kitchen table

Love was a hike
to the peak of La Tuque
backpack full of ham sandwiches
crunch of forest floor
hush of carpet moss

Love was a backyard rink
ice pucks in the freezer

When I came home late
love was a yawn
my father mumbling
he was just about to turn in

Love was porch evenings
the gift of silence
night skies drinking the moon

— from Juniper Volume 6, Issue 2