Poetry · Words on Canvas · Writing from 2014 to 2015

The Workshop

In the tiniest room in the house,

in a hidden corner of the basement,

tucked away with only the company

of a roaring furnace,

fluorescent light overhead,

lies my dad’s modest workshop.

Like many children,

I knew where to find my father

anytime I needed him.

Whether it was an out-of-tune flute

or a curling iron that had come apart,

He seemed to know exactly

how to fix things so easily.


And now after reaching adulthood,

and after years of living

as an introvert, I realize that

the workshop was the only place

where my dad could be alone

with his thoughts and find a way

to use his hands to work through

the daily struggles:


Being an immigrant,

the first in his family

to make the long trip

to a place fantasized as a sort of

promised land to third-world countries

such as his homeland.


Being the only source of income

for the majority of my childhood,

providing my three siblings and I

with so many more opportunities

and comforts and gifts

than he had had growing up

in a family of eight children.


Worrying over his four children,

how to help them adjust

to this country and to find their place

when we were always the minority,

starkly different from even

our closest friends.


Spending countless hours

helping other friends and relatives

who didn’t have the luxury

of a handyman living in their homes

to repair appliances and cars.


This is the father I took

for granted as a child.

I failed to see what a treasure

I had just down the hallway

or in his workshop below.


But now I am ever so grateful

that I have many years remaining

to let him know just how much

having him as my dad

has meant to me,

now more than ever.


–June 21, 2015

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