Tuesday, January 3, 2012

“Daddy’s Girl”

Man in a Box   

Tears welled in his eyes   
a confident smirk masked his disappointment   
A girl—a girl   
His finger slid down the curve of her soft cheek   
then he stepped back   
building physical distance   
No clone    
No son to show off at company parties and family reunions   
“Do you want to hold her?”   
His eyes darted to his wife, his mother   
relief settled his shoulders as he realized his screamed denial was in his head   
“I think she has my hair,” his young wife crooned   
“I think she has my eyes.”  
His hand rubbed the stubble on his chin   
fatigue punched his gut   
Pretending sapped his energy   
made him dry and brittle   
A fox outwitted by the trap, he stood motionless   
fought the instinct to chew off his leg   
Instead, he boxed his panic   
nailed down the lid   
let days blend into months and years   
He encouraged his daughter’s adoration   
while he ignored her needs   
avoided her love   
silenced her angry tears by walking away   
He minimized her   
made her peripheral   
on the edges of his consciousness   
an orbiting object not worthy of his attention   
A girl—a girl   

Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

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