I am my father’s daughter
My father was born on a hot, sweat-clings-to-your-shirt-kind of day.
He weighed 10 pounds and had a full head of hair.
My grandmother said he never cried.
He liked to work with his hands,
they were so rough they felt like leather.
He gave me my first cigarette when I was 15.
He told me not to smoke too much or my teeth would turn yellow.
When I was 17, he got laid off from work.
I was young, wanting the world in so many ways,
and dressed like I meant it.
We got into the middle of it one night.
Afterward, my cheek was bright red,
but my pride stung more than anything else.
He had never ever laid a hand on me before this
and never laid a hand since.
He knocked on my door the next day
and left breakfast on the floor, he was gone when I opened it.
I left home when I was 19 and never looked back.
Last week, he called and asked how I was doing,
if I remembered to get the plumbing done,
if the back door in my kitchen still stuck,
if the Chevy I drove was still in one piece,
if I was happy.
I told him I found one of Mom’s old recipes last week,
and that I’d bring it over during visiting hours next Tuesday or Thursday.
He tells me he can’t wait.
Andrea Maxine is a content writer based in Manila. Her poetry explores the themes of womanhood, grief, love, darkness, and introspection.