Fatherless by Eli Oko

Perhaps I should know how it feels to be woken up by the biggest hand I’ll ever feel whispering, “breakfast is ready”

I should remember what it was like picking the chair closest to daddy, ensuring no gap resided between us as we ate ready-break on cold winter mornings

I’d be silly to forget the rushed tone he’d use when it was time to leave the house for school

He’d grab my school bag for me and wait by the front door saying “If you’re late, I’ll be in trouble”

I guess I should remember what it was like watching him drive slowly over each hump despite knowing he wanted to speed down that road

But he’s always made it clear that when his princess is in the car she deserves the smoothest ride

Perhaps I should know how it feels to be called princess

I’d be silly if I didn’t share with all my friends the joke my Dad told me when he saw the tabby cat about to cross the road in front of us “He should have paws-ed”

How crazy it is to missinterpret the horrible pains in my stomach I’d get when I thought about my dad coming in late and missing dinner with me

Eat something, I’d think

I’m not hungry, I’d admit.

Perhaps I should know how it feels to be playing barbies and car racing games, that perfect balance my dad has always been proud of

I should remember what it was like knowing dinner time meant sitting real close and hearing how his day at work went

I’d feel the words viabrate in his chest as I leaned into him

Forcing each spoonful of food as my eyes became so tired I could barely keep them open

I’d be silly to forget the gentle way he’d lift me up and carry me to my bed

He’d fold the blankets around me and turn on my bed light saying “If those bed bugs try to bite you just call me and there’ll be trouble”

I guess I should remember what it was like to feel protected at night, no sounds or shadows could scare me when Dad is home

He always told me that the thought, let alone the reality, of him being right next door should make me sleep sound

Perhaps I should know how it feels to sleep sound

I’d be silly if I didn’t dream about the fun stuff me and my dad will get up to tomorrow

How crazy it is to missinterpret the horrible pains in my stomach I’d get when I thought about my dad not waking me in the morning and missing breakfast with me

Eat something, I’d think

I’m not hungry, I’d admit.

 

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