Posts Tagged ‘Father’s Day’

Perhaps you listen again and again
to his favorite song. Maybe you look
at photos of him and remember
birthdays and Tuesdays and boat trips
and snuggling on the couch.
Maybe you reach out to touch his head,
miss the soft fuzz of his buzz cut.
You might light a candle and say his name
as you have nearly every day since he died.
Of course, he loved “What a Wonderful World.”
And the world is wonderful, though damn,
what you wouldn’t give to hear him
say your name or your nickname,
to hear the sunshine in his voice—
how it touches your heart like sunrise on water.
You might walk out into the night
and converse with the stars as if he were listening.
Maybe you feel the strangest infusion of love,
as if your arms are tingling
and your chest is tingling
and you can’t explain it
but your whole body’s humming.
Perhaps you cry, but there is no way to know
what percentage of the tears is sadness
and what percentage is gratitude.
Perhaps you think of all the other daughters and sons
who have lost their fathers
and you open your heart to their loss.
You decide, again, to honor him
by living a life he’d be proud of.
Your father, perhaps you think
of the last day you saw him alive,
how he lifted his hands,
his eyes tracking something you couldn’t see.
Perhaps you practice remembering him—
his laughter, his fury, his advice, his silence—
and you notice how, each time you practice,
he is so close to you, as close as breath.

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for my father



And when at last

the healing comes,


may it come like rain,

like rain after a long drought,


so soft that at first

you won’t be sure


it is raining,

but the fragrance


will overcome you,

green and wet,


and the world

will look dewy and


you’ll feel it in your lungs.

Yes, may the healing


arrive in a way that

astounds you,


as today when the rain turned

long and steady,


the kind that touches

and changes everything,


changes things so completely

you almost can’t remember


what it was like before,

yes, may healing come like this


so that everywhere you look,

all you see is promise.

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It began as my father cheering for me,

he’d count it off, then chant low and bright,

One, Two, Three, Yay Rox!


He used it often—for curtain calls

and piano recitals and catching fish

and semester finals. And he’d use it,

too, when I’d come in blue

with rejection letters or a broken heart,

and he’d say it softer, with a squeeze and a hush,

One, Two, Three, Yay Rox.

His is a heart of sun.

All moments are moments worth honoring.

What does not makes us more wholly ourselves?


And then, I don’t remember when,

he changed the rules and made me join in.

Made me say the five words together with him,

whether I wanted to or not,

One, Two, Three, Yay Rox!


How my own tongue stumbled, still sometimes does,

but always, his voice is there beneath my own,

steady and confident, tender and clear.

After years decades of cheers, I daily

harvest the wealth.

How wise, the father, who gives

a girl herself.



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