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  • Writer's pictureAnna Claire Hodge

The Answer Is Always Dad

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Though sometimes it is also “no.”

To which children, in their messy innocence,

might anger. But age, of course, teaches

that boundaries, like fences, like walls,

are for safety.


Protection is not all a man can offer.

There are boy scout trips, bags of compost

to ensure a thriving garden, sixteen mile hikes

on a beach, or mastering electricity, then watching

your son do the same.


And though it’s more than wires

and pulled weeds that connect us,

the stuff of everyday is also sacred.

Like hamburger, gravy, and rice.

It’s simple. It gets the job done.


So much of love, we know, is sacrifice.

Watching music videos that you

don’t understand — a man in makeup

screaming onscreen, caring only for the joy

of your daughter.


We know that if an alligator lurks

near a kayak’s oar, or a car needs driving,

you will be there. To dance class, through

Alaska, wherever we need to be.


Some nights, you’d carry us from the car

to a soft bed, and we learned that we

could pretend to sleep, eyes shut tightly

so we could remain safe in the warmth of your arms.

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