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Father and Daughter

Twinkle twinkle

you are six years old

in your pink and white dress with roses

hair wiry like mother’s

as your fingers scrape a match – it splutters

flame eating toward you too fast

and the candle threatens to fall into

the chocolate icing


Your smile, a mixture of quiet humor

and secrets has decorated the fridge door

now thirteen years, curling and slightly yellow

wondering why father only comes on weekends

to take you to the big park and how your best friend,

your twin-souls friend, suddenly deserted you

for that rat who stole her heart away and left

yours with that huge scar


Here is your first poem, the garland you wore

on your birthday when some little shit blessed you

jeering you look like a monkey, smell like one too


And my first song, you say, looking up from the fridge door

as I remember hours, days, weekends we spent listening

to Bach, Aviv Gefen, Beethoven, Arik Einstein

and how, your little fingers plucking guitar strings,

you played a song that you composed about Aba

who pushed you on the swings, read you stories


Twinkle twinkle

now you are almost twenty in your khaki uniform

serving your country, surrounded by friends and

soldier students, you are teaching Hebrew

immigrants from thirteen countries


You still call me Aboosh

when we talk on the phone, which isn’t so often these days

some of your friends already have babies


In three short years I’ll be 80

some of my friends didn’t get this far but

twinkle twinkle you still are

my little star

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© Johnmichael Simon



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