A Conversation With My Daughter (2013)

August days where autumn winds add to the rains;
not mature as gusts but just
strong enough to challenge gravity.

My daughter Skye
(lately nine years old)
with ice blue
eyes and a golden dress,
walks alongside me on the way home
from school.

I carry her backpack- it weights more than
her mother’s black Shih Tzu, and that’s
saying something.

She’s presently humming
some song I have
never heard, mumbling lyrics loaded
with fifty fucking swear words.
She’s mad at me for
something small-

you can see it as
her brow tries to
hide her lovely smile.

A nine year old rationale,
but as far as
I can tell, I’ve caused
no permanent damage.

Then, manically as I’m prone to
change moods, her tone eschews the
attitude and the questions
her mind’s been
brewing, stewing in raw
emotions, listening to
the commotion downstairs.

“Hey Dad,” she says, “do you think
the world might
end soon?”

“Where did you get that
idea in your head, boo?”

She stops humming the tune between
her words to hear mine clearly.

“One of the boys whose desk sits
near me told me his dad could
predict the future.”

“Well” I reply “the news anchor has been
telling I’m at risk of dying since I was
knee-high like you.”

“I’m not that
short, you douche.”

“Point is, the media is the most
well-informed prophet of
the forthcoming apocalypse because
the panic they unleash will probably
kill us before the
actual threat.
And they have not been
accurate as of yet, except perhaps,
the weatherman on

I let that sink in, as cars honk
down the avenue
of parents picking
up their kids.

“Are you ever going to
get back together again?” she asks,
implying her mother.

But brother, that’s a
subject I can’t explain
(even now in the 2010’s.)

Because we’re always fine
from Tuesday to the first
weekend noonday when
tomfoolery sends
us spiralling.

But I know that, given ten years, clear liquor
and our stockpiles
of ire, we’ll light
the fires we kept locked inside
before retiring from
each other’s company.

I don’t want to be
the liar and I don’t
want to tell the truth,

so we keep walking.

I kiss her forehead, as she
resumes humming
her tune.


2 thoughts on “A Conversation With My Daughter (2013)

  1. Sometimes, it’s, just, not easy to explain what was happening in the world to our young in terms that they can understand, so, more often than not, we just, shrug it off, and, with children under ten, they may be speaking in metaphors that we, adults don’t realize, and we reply to our young, based off the interpretation of what we think they mean, instead of answering the question that they have for us…


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