Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Daddy Lover

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For Michael, Father's Day 2004

Our tousled son sits at the table
hunched over a pair of round magnets.
He is trying to figure it out:
How close together can you tease them
before their embrace becomes inevitable?
I watch one give itself over and speed to the other
where it locks with a click.
And I think of you.

I make lunch for our children:
cold pasta wheels, cottage cheese, carrot nubs.
When I pull a hot-dog from the microwave,
the meaty tube strains,
steaming, in its taut skin.
And I think of you.

And then laugh out loud.

We are parents.
But still something else, too:
The thing that got us here
in the first place.
You with your dark hair,
your sly smile.
your slinky moves.

Come here, Baby.
Let me unzip you from that Daddy costume.
You can put it right back on --
I promise --
when I'm done with you.

Catherine Newman has published poetry in Mothering and essays in the anthologies Toddler and The Bitch in the House, among other places. Her book, Waiting for Birdy, about the year she was pregnant her second baby, is due out in March. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her family.

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