Winters too my dad got up early


Winters too my dad got up early
and put his clothes on in the arctic cold room,
when the old boiler failed
and the radiators were quiet,
pipes deathly cold. He must turn on the fire.
I’d stay in bed and hear the radio blaring, “it’s cold.”
when the rooms were frigid, and the pipes popped,
I’d take forever to rise and dress
avoiding stepping on the frozen floor.
Firing up the boiler once again,
he had driven out the cold
and came back up calling us to get up for school.
I remember, I remember
I remember those days dad…
  • Author: rrodriguez (Offline Offline)
  • Published: May 13th, 2022 13:44
  • Comment from author about the poem: I lived in the Bronx during the 70s. Those days were when the Bronx was at its worse. Drugs, gangs, crime, trash, etc. were rampant in the streets. My dad was the superintendent of a building on 180th street between Prospect Ave. and Clinton St. The building was an old tenement building and the boiler kept failing us in the winter. My dad had to get up early in the morning and work on getting the boiler started to give heat to the building. Inside our apartment was bitterly cold. I remember my dad dutifully getting up and going to the basement to get the old boiler working. This poem is a glimpse of one of those cold mornings.
  • Category: Reflection
  • Views:


  • Bella Shepard

    So beautifully written for the father who did not think of his discomfort, but the comfort and well being of his family. I see in your words the recognition that comes with age, of the sacrifices those who loved us made, but we were too young to realize. You truly touched my heart with this one.

    • rrodriguez

      Thank you, Bella. Indeed, during those days I didn't appreciate all the things my dad did for us. He's 89 years old now and I want to let him know that I appreciate him and loved him very much. Thank you for reading my poem and commenting. You took the to reflect on my words and that is quite significant. I want to thank you for that.

    • Rozina

      What a fantastic story. A wonderful father, ensuring the family is comfortable. Our parents' actions speak louder than their words very often. Thank you for sharing.

    • Goldfinch60

      Wonderful words rr of the hard times of the past.


    • PoetVids - I am WriteBeLight only in Video Version :)

      Burrrrrr. You did a great job on this and I really felt the hardwhip. Kudos to your Dad!

      • rrodriguez

        Thank you, for reading my poem and commenting on it. That was many years ago. My dad is going to be 90 years old this October. I still remember those cold winters, the heat coming back on, and the radiator hissing and whistling as the steam warmed our rooms.

        • PoetVids - I am WriteBeLight only in Video Version :)

          I lived in a home like that. I remember the smell of the steam. And, I too, am an October baby. So nice to hear from you. Hope the hurricane season is kind this year and every year. We are experiencing Fiona's pass by now. 🙂

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