When you are a father you will play new music for tiny people who have never heard music before. You won’t let bugs come inside because you hate bugs inside. When you are a father you will be the big turtle with little turtles trying to stay on your shell back but slipping off. When you are a father you will be bigger all of the time, holding all kinds of small hands in all kinds of weather. When you are a father you might not remember what is scary. When you are a father you will not know where the decorations are and that the wind blows breadcrumbs around and the birds might miss these breadcrumbs. When you are a father you will use a stern voice but also play with all of the little bad wolves. When you are a father you will look at expiration dates. When you are a father we won’t see you grow older every day because we will see you every day and we will grow older too every day and you won’t see it on us either and then one day we will all be old and we will need each other in different ways – ways we don’t know yet – and we will and then one day we will all just be gone and it will be all the little things that mattered like holding hands.
Jennifer MacBain-Stephens has poems published in Superstition Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Red Savina Review, Foliate Oak, Burningword Literary Journal, and Apeiron Review. She has poems forthcoming in Rufous City Review, *82 Review, Dead Flowers: A Poetry Rag, and Iowa City’s 2013 Poetry in Public Project. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa.