Arts & Crafts Magazine

My Father Mothering

By Nellie @blackrabbitvt

My Father Mothering

My Father Mothering

My father, not mother,
but mothering.
We speak together of a woman,
smiling, crying, laughing,
shaking our heads
as if she had left only yesterday.

Between now and twenty odd years ago
the date a single eye in every year,
Father has sung, struggled,
suffered a little girl growing up.
The mystery of woman
becoming,
a shared passage.
Adapted, he did
because he wanted me not without.

Grandfather
and like a woman
or a mother
resists the age-
can he be that old?
Predicts a little girl
buys pink dishes,
and upon her face
entering this world,
stares mightily.

She is
another daughter-
mine this time,
to become a woman,
and he again
giving love enough for two.

I am certainly no poet, but wrote this piece a few years after my daughter was born. My dad raised my brother and myself as a single parent, after suffering the loss of his young wife to cancer. I know how hard parenting can at times be when you have a loving, supportive, equal partner as I do – I can only imagine the difficulties of doing it on your own, while also healing from a personal tragedy.

I’m all for breakfast buffets and barbecues, but I also think Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day) should be celebrated every day, simply by showing our love and our appreciation to our parents and partners for all they do.

To all the Dads out there – a very Happy Father’s Day! Enjoy it!

* photo: my dad and my daughter, long before she grew into the young woman she is today!


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