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To My Infant Daughter: Contemplations on Fatherhood

It's late again in the dark still silence as you,
My daughter, in your first few months of life,
Wake again, and it is my turn
To come to you, hold you
And sit with your delicate head
On my shoulder, gently shush-shushing you
Back to slumber, in the rocker my father
Bought for my mother all those years ago.
I close my eyes and see

Him young and strong, sitting in a nearly new '76 Ford,
Johnny Cash crooning on the a.m. dial,
And he watches as my yellow bus drives away
To the little whitewashed adobe school.
A hundred miles the other direction his wife,
My mother, waits in her hospital bed,
Her life ticking away from him and from me,
His six-year old son.

You wriggle your softly pinned hand free
From between us and explore
My stubbled face with tiny fingers, keeping time
With the distant creak of the chair beneath us.
As I absorb the warmth and innocence of your touch,
I open my eyes and feel

His grapple with the finality of it all,
To lose his wife, my mother,
The need to press on and find another
Who would care for us and fill
The void left in his heart and our home.
Did he cry?
Dared he mourn?
Was there time for such luxury?
Or could he only push forward,
To the next day, the next job, the next bill to pay,
Ahead of the pit of gloom and sorrow
Waiting to swallow him whole?

Your hand fumbles at my ear, tugging the lobe.
Your knees and toes squirm against my ribs,
Unwilling to succumb
To the slumber trying in vain to rein you in.
My lips whisper softly to your innocent ears
Comfort sounds as I stand and pace through a door
Toward the glow of your window.
Your fingers graze my hair, opening my mind

And I see him again,
His face garnished with grey,
Toiling to secure our new family of five:
Me, his new wife, my new mother and two young daughters.
He drives endless miles through red rock cliffs
For duty and love whose depth
Proves itself with each passing mile,
Each passing week,
And my soul rests
Upon his work, his sacrifice for me and for them.

Your breathing, once curious,
Resumes its somnolent rhythm,
Keeping time with my whispers.
Your fingers lay still upon my chest,
My heartbeat soothing your restlessness
Beat by beat, slowly,
My view fixed forward through your window,
Cautiously eager for the brightness of tomorrow.

I restore you to your crib, your waiting bed, your little domain
As your cool blue eyes,
Aglow as dawn creeps in upon our faces,
Tell me all is well
As you smilingly drift into angel dreams.

Down the hall your sleeping mother, my wife, sighs a deep tranquility,
And for once this night you and I agree:

All is well.

About A Married Mormon Man: I'm a happily married father of four who decided at age 35 to become a writer. Although it seems I won't be quitting my day job any time soon, for if I did, I would lose many, many great characters for future stories...oh, and income. I need the income...stupid money.

Enjoy shopping for quality baby clothing at

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