This Love Is Also a Father’s Love – Michael VanCalbergh

              after a Subaru radio commercial


My love has no wheels. It’s not reserved and
silent. It isn’t a stand-in object
of rust and measured usefulness. My love
did not sit, hands folded, waiting, for
her mother to instruct me further. No.

I wept for eight nights chanting Handle this
like I knew how to pray. I researched. Read
actual books. Threw books across the room.
When she arrived I felt sore when my hands
were not washing bottles or holding her toes.
My love grows like cactus. It’s a sonnet
that I recite each morning, thorns and all.
            This love is also a father’s love.

Michael VanCalbergh currently lives in Normal, IL and works at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and will appear in Best New Poets 2021. His work has previous appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Apex Magazine, Tinderbox Poetry, and many other spaces.

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