Because My Daughter Subscribed to My Website

This poem is the culmination of sharing from my trip to Europe, where my daughter is staying to travel and work for several months before coming back to go to college next fall. On our journey, we visited many many beautiful churches, my offerings were always the same, to be more like Mother Mary and for my girl to be safe. I feel so incredibly blessed to have shared a bit of her new adventures! The poem explains this week's tardiness :) 


Because My Daughter Subscribed to My Website

When my daughter asked if she could receive my weekly poems, 
wanting another way to stay connected
when she travelled in Europe,
I want to tell her she might
not always enjoy me in her inbox.
As her older brother got them for some time
but now when I mention a posted poem
he looks at me blankly
while I try, and try not to, make him feel guilty.

Today I learned about a communication
tool called “direct address,”
which is opening a door and walking through it
instead of slipping slyly under the crack.
When I refer to my writing with my son,
instead of “you probably didn’t see it...”
I might say, “I am curious why you
aren’t reading my poems anymore?”
Which is scary as fuck.
Because what if he simply doesn’t like them.

It is this fear since my girl signed on,
that has kept me from flying my poem
on the flagpole labelled Wednesday,
as I have every midweek
almost without fail for the last six years,
because suddenly it seemed so much
was at stake, her liking them, her liking me,
my desire she finds my living useful
and wonderful and inspiring-full.
I want to be her Louvre,
each image I hang as tactile
as Monet’s painted waterlilies,
each turn of phrase as unexpected
as a cafe on a side street in Paris.

I wish I could walk first, before her,
and make sure there are no trip wires,
pluck fruit from trees
to peel and section for her,
to still protect and nourish, even though I have forced
her to navigate craters of genetics and upbringing,
a land mine termed divorce,
even as I will continue to dig
potholes named selfishness and distraction.

No audience is more sacred or worthy,
no favorite author or movie star,
no president or dignitary,
not even my sons, for they cannot
learn from me how to be female,
but my daughter has and she will,
for now through only my words,
which abandon me as I look at my keyboard.

Yet my heart does not desert me,
so quaking it is with her shy and strong
dive into this glittering pool called life.
I will hit send,
with the same hope and gravity
as I said goodbye at the airport,
what if, dear god, this is my last chance,
our last hug, the last time my sweet girl...

I will release with one hand
and reach for her with the other,
knowing the world is