How does one father a little girl?
So fragile and frail one moment
so beligerant and stubborn the next
Her very birth six years ago
was a sign of her autonomy
She would not be born
all that month
Late night hospital visits
trying all night
and then one day
mom could not get to the hospital fast enough
Now she’s full of refusals
I won’t get changed for bed!
I won’t go to school today!
I don’t want you to tuck me in!
I don’t want you to kiss me!
You won’t make me laugh!
The litany drags on for what seems an eternity.
Fathers. You can’t live with them and you can’t live
without them. They’re never there fast enough. . .
and they just don’t know when they’re not wanted.
Little girls. It takes a while.
For them to know what they want.