"What's that cloud in the sky?"
"That's not a cloud, that's The Milky Way"
"What's that?"
"Well, you know what the sun is, right?"
"Yeah."
"Well, The Milky Way is a whole bunch of suns. They're just so far away that they look like a big, milky cloud. In fact, a long time ago someone looked up up in the sky and thought that someone, some god, had spilled milk in the sky."
"Dad?"
"Mmm hmm?"
"Is that really what happened?"
"I don't know. Maybe."

"Wow"


She doesn't remember that conversation, nor many others that we had during the ten-year span I was the biggest man in her life.

She has a legal father now, not the one who abandoned her, but the one that adopted her when her mother got re-married. She has his name ... he is, and always has been, Dad.

And as she grows closer to the age of eighteen, any legal or societal duties I might be called upon to perform as her godfather become less and less.

She doesn't remember calling me Dad, but she remembers the stars.

I know. On a recent, all too brief visit ...

I caught her looking.

Wow




Her version of the summer sky was
flawed

She was discussing constellations that did not exist
as we sat in my backyard
leaning forward on unsteady lawn chairs,

Always on the edge of our seats.

Her version of our late nights was also
sketchy


Though I remember every rustle of drape, every fingertip
the owls in the woods and the smell of magnolias

Her version of the past is incomplete (she tells people she remembers everything)
I think she made up stories to fill in details.

I mostly recall the expression on her face,
focused, with one hand pointing skyward

Always expectant and hopeful~
pointing,

Over there!

 

 


for Chras4, by request

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