It can come at any time.
It’s the day you realize that you are.
It might be at birth. You could have been the first
To touch her, still slimy, still attached.
It could be the moment they handed you
The scissors to cut the cord and you did,
Wondering what just happened.
It might the night you were holding her,
Mother asleep upstairs. She was crying in your arms,
What to do … you gave her her first bottle.
She liked it. It might have been that moment
When you supplied the answer.
It might have been one night in the hospital.
It could have been when a friend hurt her.
It could have been that first bike ride
When you let her go… but probably not.
It could have been a boat ride,
It could have been a carnival ride,
It might have been when you taught her to ski.
Probably not those either.
It might have been some moment in the months
Of teaching her to drive.
It might have been when business kept you
From an important event and you knew
You would rather have been with her.
It might have been the night you and her mother
Faught until the door opened and you stepped outside
But could not leave. It could have been then.
It could have been when you left her
On the curb at college and drove away.
You remember how the steering wheel felt that day,
The same steering wheel she learned on.
It could have been the first time you cried
With the joy of loving her.
It could have been the time she called just to talk.
It could have been the night you returned home
After helping her move into her condo, when
You sat down in your chair and felt so alone and
Yet so happy. It could have been that moment,
That sweet, sad moment when you realized that
Your happiness is only found in hers, even if
It means sitting here missing her.
Maybe it’s really that Father’s Moment,
When you realize what it all means.
Or maybe it’s a lifetime that feels like a moment.
When she comes over this morning,
And says, “Happy Father’s Day, Dad,”
I bet I’ll know.
I’m sure I’ll know.
Bill Purdin: 6/9/11