I collect fathers like fallen change scooped desperately into hollow pockets, abandoned by adult daughters or disappointed sons. It’s ironic, myself a deserted daughter. But these fathers try to redeem themselves and I want their care, any care. I want to be contained and cared for in the purest form. I listen to stories retold over and over, absorb scolding and advice, bask in the glow of the smallest praise and recognition. It’s pathetic, this 20 something grown-up 6-year-old adopting dads who are an imperfect illusion, dying to be the perfect child for the reformed bank robber, the lonely liquor store manager, any older man who will see the fragile broken girl and not cross a line. I wear the pink plastic watch he picked out, ask the right questions, accept rides home, a ragdoll child dying of thirst, whoever you want me to be.
“…pretend I am a person
and love me back into my flesh”~marge piercy