My last post, A Letter to my Daughter, got me thinking about the connection between parents and their children, and how it never truly breaks, even when tested by conflict or emotional damage or grief or fear or numerous other challenges – and even when either or both parties think it has been irreparably damaged. On the simplest of levels, physical distance will never shatter the loving bond between a father and a daughter. It reminded me of a poem I wrote for my daughter when she was very little, when her father went to Europe for a month. Here it is.
The Magic Thread
Daddy took a plane to work.
He’s flown far away.
I didn’t want to see him go.
I wanted him to stay.
When he left, he held me close
and whispered “I will miss you.
Work hard at school, and if you’re sad
your mummy’s love will kiss you.”
I cried and asked him not to go.
My heart felt sore and yucky.
I rubbed my eyes until my face
was streaked and raw and mucky.
So Daddy sat me on his knee
and we cuddled close together.
I whispered, “Don’t forget me, Dad,”
and Daddy promised, “Never.
“I’ll tell you of a special thread
that holds our hearts together.
Even if we’re far apart,
It can keep us close forever.
“The thread that joins our hearts as one
Will never fray, nor come undone.
It’s stronger than a lion’s roar,
a thousand times, and maybe more!
It shines and shimmers over the sea
from me to you, from you to me.
It gently winds around your soul
to keep you safe, and make you whole.
And when, at night, a twinkling star
reminds you that I’m very far,
you’ve but to whisper “I love you”
(and listen – this is really true –)
your words will shimmer through that thread,
out from your heart, out from your bed,
up to the sky and through the night,
until the milky morning light
is breaking over a distant place
where I am dreaming of your face.
Along that thread and to my room
where winter falls with stealthy gloom,
your words will tumble, dance, and ring
along our secret shining string.
And in my ear I’ll hear you say
“I love you”, though you’re far away.
Then suddenly it will be Spring,
and how my soul will start to sing!
And though I’m feeling far from home
your love will mean I’m not alone.
And then I’ll say “I love you too,”
and my words will travel back to you,
over twelve thousand starry miles
to weave through your dreams, your tears, your smiles.
And so, we’ll never be apart.
We’re joined by magic, heart to heart.”
And then my Daddy smiled at me
and hugged me extra tight.
He whispered, “You will be OK,”
and I knew he was right.
For though he’s gone away for now,
and a month seems like forever,
our marvelous, mystical, magic thread
will keep our hearts together.