He would throw off his donkey jacket,
and I would lay down,
wrapped in the rough dark folds,
smudged with plaster dust and paint stains.
I was two,
he was fifty, just lost his wife.
Years later, after the reconciliation,
we painted my first house together,
the walls were pale yellow,
steeped in his stories of the old country.
I was eighteen,
he was retired, needed medication for his heart.
When he died, a year after his second wife,
we had to go and choose from his possessions,
I took his frail paged prayer book,
A tartan cashmere scarf and his old copper kettle.