To all the Girls without Fathers on Father’s Day

If he’s gone now
or was gone early on
if he was never there at all
if he was there but didn’t see you

if you have a hole where your father should be

I grew out of the shadows of that empty space too.
I am a whole woman, here to tell you,
no matter where he was, or where he is now
sweep up these words, the pieces of all the world’s empty or
unfinished daughters on Father’s Day
plant them in your empty space, so love can grow,

you know? Because you don’t have any more days
to hunt, for whatever he wasn’t or isn’t anymore
or whatever you want him to be. Let the chase and wild-eyed dogs cease.
You only have now. Even if you never glimpsed him at all.
He already gave you everything

Hands and heart, eyes and soul, of a woman capable

Love and be loved if you choose. Step out. Barefoot and skirt twirling into the street,

arms to the sky and smiling because on Father’s Day,
you became whole and balanced spinning on one toe into a world just waiting
for you to be open, to hear the voice, the one inside of you
that says I miss having a father, but it will not stop me
from dancing into my own comfortable skin.

On Father’s Day, even without him, I will once and for all be me!


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