The faint smell of Old Spice reminds me of my dad,
a constant reminder from my mom every Father’s day,
I often wonder if he truly liked this scent,
or was it a reminder of his obligation as a father?
Shackled and bound by marriage,
did he want this job?
I remember brief moments of him arriving back from business trips,
my sister and I too young to understand the
the clacking of children running down the hall would kill any notion of privacy,
as my mom would shoo us away,
I blamed myself for the lack of romance between my parents,
shunned puppy left out on the patio,
I longed for a family where hugs and kisses were accepted as everyday commodities rather than the rare coin tossed and cherished,
I hoped that for every lover I take up with,
Someday, I hope to understand that
I am more than the sum of my parents,
more than their hopes of me being just a progeny.
Understanding that parenting is a lifelong commitment to yourself and
I will always be a mom,
I cannot be a dad,
my daughter longed for a dad I couldn’t give her,
I’m sorry I couldn’t tell her back then, that it was more than just
warfare between us,
I left that part of me behind to raise her intact but I feel sometimes I failed,
My own longing for a father left residual traces of something bitter and sour on my tongue,
something she can’t taste but always longed for,
This too, is something I couldn’t give her.