Saturday, June 15, 2019

Tobi Alfier - Let's Talk About Father's Day. . .

I am a terrible daughter. My mom and dad came over last weekend to see their grandson. We ordered pizza and I paid for it. That was my Father’s Day present to my dad. And a poem. I don’t expect that everyone has or had the relationship with their dad or kids that I have, but my dad is great! He knows my mobility sucks, so it’s not like he was expecting something from the mall or anything. This man drove me all over the San Fernando Valley a hundred years ago to look at potter’s wheels, which we found. I don’t know why we didn’t buy one. I guess I gave up on making pots at the Whole Earth Marketplace while we were driving around. Don’t even ask me about the Karmann Ghia! My parents. Bless them both.  Whatever your relationship, however you spend your day, I hope the weather is beautiful, you wear sunblock, and you pay for the pizza.

What a Daughter Knows                   

There’s a reason for memory.
Daughter and father side by side
at the bathroom sink shaving,
she with a key from a sardine can
and lots of lather, daughter
and father side by side in the yard,
trimming the hedges with
nail scissors and shears,

daughter as she kisses father
goodbye, takes the hand
of a boy not good enough for her.

Plaid shorts and playing at the shore—
he will take out her splinters,
get her ears pierced,
buy her diamond earrings,
and kiss her as he holds his new grandson.
He will cry at her sorrows,
and laugh at her pleasures.
A daughter knows.
A daughter knows.

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Tobi Alfier's most recent collection of poetry is Slices Of Alice. She is also co-editor with Jeff Alfier of the San Pedro River Review. Don't miss Tobi's columns on the craft of poetry: insert your email address in the "Follow By Email" box to the right of this article and you'll be notified every time a new article appears.


  1. When I came to the end of reading your poem, it felt like there was something warm in my stomach like stew and then it grew up in my chest and turned into a flower. I loved my daddy like that, too! Even though sometimes he was not perfect at all, there were many times when he was a prince. I am glad to read your poem which helps me remember him. He has been dead for so long.

    1. Bless you, and thank you so much for sharing that xoxo.


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