Calling Collect from Prison / Father-Daughter Intermediary

:::: Tell her
        Tuesdays are good days        —I know
      making time is hard. Make sure she is reading
              —make sure she stays
in school; tell her
                                keep your nails ragged as an architect’s
                              first skyline to serrate
        bodies that want
to claim        you, as if claiming is all
               they know         how to do.
Teach her to throw       a punch:
         remember to leave
      your thumb exposed—she’ll learn
               after the first time she breaks
                                                             a knuckle.
                                                                            ::::         Tell her:
how we buried baby teeth/first
       haircut/christening clothes in a prayer
chest. How precious      how adored       how
many hours on our knees—
               Tell her                —send
a school picture to show
—to fall asleep with—
              smile like waking         to birthday/Christmas mornings.
Tell her I would turn
       this world color-blind
            for her :::: don’t tell her how much I miss
    her/don’t tell I called/don’t tell


Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons