“Daddy” To My Daughter, To My Son

By Ashleigh Hatter

“Lovely, you are.”

It’s a mantra, a prayer, a chain of things bound together by no more
than Rain, and the very minute and very hour where things
could grow so very very sour,
that minute and second when
is the moment I feel
a man again
and I’m able to think again
and promise again
and love again
and give you the whole of the known universe again
cause it’s all in the way you see me, the look of your eyes lingering on me

spark and sizzle,
the magic of a daughter’s smile.

“Strong, you’ll be.”

It’s a curse and a dedication, a blessing of hard times
and perseverance, and pressing on in the cold dilemmas
when everyone you trusted is gone and leavin ya.
It’s a wake up, toughen up
break it up – all your fool self –
and take it up and back it up
and look in the mirror taking measure of
and owning up to what you should be counting on
it’s that
to be a man and nothing more and nothin’ less than
It’s a heavy weight I give ya
an lemme show you how to lift it.

grit and pride,
the legacy of a son’s eyes,

An there aint much left for me,
But there’s more left for you
in the stories and loves and hates that I bind you to;
you will do, and pay your dues
until you too can lift a chin and look me in the eye
from where I rest in the Highs
and lemme know that you done good
and lemme know what lives you touched
and lemme know yo kin be livin’ the way I did
the way I taught you – my kids – and they be touchin’ the souls of they kids.

It’s then that I’ll know
that I’ll be called and loved and remembered when I’m gone.
“Daddy,” is what I’ll be remembered as, forever as.
“Daddy.” My name, not meant for no one else.

Y’all remember it,
an the lessons I spoke.

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