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  • lindseytheresa

Fathers and Daughters

No one reads less poetry than my dad. From what I can tell, he finds the concept silly. But that doesn't stop me from writing them about him. Oddly enough, I've written more poems about him than anyone. Maybe it's because he's so different than me--or maybe it's because of the ways we are similar.


And today is his 70th birthday!!! I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days with him last week. I showed up at my parent's house unannounced and made him go to the beach against his will and tried to cajole him into taking me for a boat ride. Me and my parents road tripped around the Boot, climbed a rickety salmon ladder, and ate cheesecake at one of my favorite restaurants (shoutout to Sharon's Nook!). He grumbled when I wanted to pull over again and again.


I'm glad I took the time to travel the 1467 km to visit, and I'm also glad I get to write poems about him--even if he doesn't read them.


Dad, in case you read this and actually made it this far, happy birthday! I know you don't like to make a big deal about it, but what are daughters for if not to go against your wishes?





Gordon’s Hill

I was out skiing when I saw it.

A hill, bearing my father’s name,

far from the trappings of daily life.


Not named after him, merely sharing in it.

A coincidence but still,

it felt important at the time, perhaps


a sign, made by hand, letters burned into wood

and varnished to a shine.

Carried in and nailed up for those few who pass by.


It stopped me in my tracks

before I began to climb

up the steady slope he presented me with.


It made the corners of my mouth turn up

in a smile of sorts,

as I struggled up the ascent.


Like my father, this hill pushes me

a little harder

than I want to go.


But also like my father, it’s helping me

get there,

in its own way.





Your golden years


should be farm fresh.

A sun-punctuated white expanse.

But you say they aren’t 

what they’re cracked up to be.

 

The centre is broken, richness spilled and hardened. Overcooked and stuck to your cast iron life.

 

A blood spot mars the fantasy, clotted and unsightly. You are left to chew mechanically, shrug and say  a man’s got to eat.


But it’s not too late to break another shell, help something bright and quivering set perfectly.

Nests brimming with opportunity await.

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