For Victoria by Katrina K. Guarascio
My girl will wake up on graduation day
with the weight of bones on her back,
knowing her father will not watch her
walk in robe and heels, knowing he has
never seen her read a poem on stage,
knowing he will not walk her down the
aisle or dance with her at her wedding.
My girl has been fatherless
for over two thousand five hundred days.
She still feels that piece jigsawed from her life.
My girl is learning the folly of remembrance
and how even those things most precious
to her will suffer the wear and tear of time.
Everything dissolves. Everything falls away.
It is our choice to hold
on to these moments,
to cherish them.
She is learning how to
make these choices.
I have spent four years teaching her that
kindness is more than biology and families
can be built and burnt in a matter of moments,
but she already knew that.
She taught me all I could ever hope
to know about the strength of survival
and the recovery of loss.
I am grateful for the vulnerability she shares,
for the fearlessness of her confessions.
My girl is not my girl at all.
I have no ownership, nor do I collect
her accomplishments in rings around my finger,
rather, I stand to the side. I give her the stage.
She is the one responsible for her survival,
she is the only one responsible for
all the sizes her heart has grown
and continues to grow.
Her talent, her beauty has always
been bundled in the mess of veins
in her forearm, in the pulmonary of her heart.
She is ready to be released upon the world
yet holds a sadness that her father will
never see it.
do not think for a moment
your father doesn’t see the
masterpiece you have become.
He is here. Your words are the manifestation of his act,
your beauty and kindness reflect his legacy,
you have chosen to hold him with you and he
remains within everything you do.
Your words have reached him,
they have reached all of us,
and he is proud,
we are all so very proud,
of the woman you have become.
Katrina K. Guarascio is an Author, Educator and Managing Editor at Swimming With Elephants Publications. Katrina’s most recent collection of poems, The Fall of a Sparrow, was published on April 1, 2014. Katrina serves as the Facilitator and Web Mistress at La Palabra: The Word is a Woman writer’s collective. Additionally Katrina Sponsors and Facilitates the Rio Rancho Youth Poetry Community Workshops. For more information about Katrina please click here.
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