In her daydreams she dreams a man

who praises her always and lifts her high,


who doesn’t smell of ashtrays,

whiskey, garlic, old basements or sour socks,

plays badminton and croquet with her

at family picnics,

shows her how to pitch a horseshoe,

toss a baseball like her cousins in the little league,

sends her to her mother to explain

why she doesn’t have a tail like boys do


He greets her with a joke and a wink

No scolding or name calling or grouchy feelings

Doesn’t quite know how to say it yet

but when she does,

she may one day write down

he carried her on his shoulders

with all the best wishes, the highest hopes,

all the good graces of second fathers