Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Letters from Daddy

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Letters from Daddy

Article excerpt

This is to the girl who has spring in her eyes

& summer up her sleeves: swing sets

will remind you of a growing life, how

we sit there, first amazed at the accomplishment

of climbing onto the seat all by ourselves,

so excited, overly frustrated-

but don't dawdle, focus. Begin to kick

your fragile legs forward then backward

until the perception of the playground

is sideways. Hold on tight for your own sake, embrace,

you have your daddy's balance, his capability,

& also his weakness that can keep you away

from the scars that you must endure

to understand the things underfoot.

So don't worry too much about falling

or dusting yourself off, our origin is of the dirt

let it be a souvenir of where you came from,

why you're still fighting.

There was a time

when the coagulant assemblage sent warning.

We (your mother & I) never got the message,

only a last minute spotting, jotted footnotes

from the spiritual abroad

letting us in on a secret about human limitations. …

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