In her daydreams she dreams a man

who praises her always and lifts her high,


who doesn’t smell of ashtrays,

whiskey, garlic, wet basements or sour socks

plays badminton and croquet with her,

shows her how to pitch a horseshoe,

toss a baseball like her cousins in the little league


He teases her in funny ways and not in front of friends,

tickles her, rubs her neck, carries her when she’s tired,

laughs ha!ha! kiddo when she says things wrong

chases her in the backyard grass, wrestles her,

lets her have two dips of ice cream, another piece of cake,

makes sure she brushes her teeth and folds her clothes


He understands what’s she’s thinking with a quick wink

No scolding or name calling or bad or grouchy feelings

Not knowing quite how to say it yet but when she does

she may be able to write one day that he was

fervently endowed with all the best wishes,

the highest hopes, all the good graces

of second fathers