Thank You, Daddy

These words open a door on a piece of my heart that I didn’t realize Daddy had molded until I wrote them.

Happy 58th Birthday, Daddy! Thank you for showing me and giving me love so that I know what it really looks like.

A Girl Named Joy

I.

The sun burned
I could see the tractor in the field
Daddy waved, standing by the hay bailer
My pudgy hand pointed to my hair
It looked like Princess Leia pigtails
I jumped, returning the wave with excitement
To me,
We came to the hay field just to show Daddy my hair
I’m sure that wasn’t the case
I didn’t care

He saw me
And smiled

II.

My phone rang from its perch on the windowsill
My heart hiked into my throat
The cool, front porch air chilled my fingers
I recognized his number
The boy who never wrote me back
He asked how I was doing
Words flew from my mouth
Mumbled and mixed together
Felt like shrapnel coming through my throat
Creating grey confusion
I told him why I called earlier
Putting my hurt heart into words
Saying, “I forgive you,” shook me
He stopped, listened, but he had to go
I said goodbye for the last time
I know how I deserve to be loved

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