November 2, 2018
Photo by Sue Clark

Fathers and Daughters
A Poem by Mark S. Peel

After the cold time passes
from too many hours of silence,
of profound feelings unacknowledged,
no one can wipe away a tear of the father’s making.
Imperfect practitioners in an imperfect world,
fathers provide no road map for their affection,
only unintended insensitivities among
ill-defined expectations.
Too often long after expectations set,
the damage inflicted overwhelms in haunting ways
not meant by intention or design.
The ideal love in the mind of the child is unyielding and lasts a lifetime.
Imagined past distances will always impede and confuse
the eternal search for love between the parent and child.
Little girls don’t offend; at worst, they disappoint.
The older they get, they simply disappoint more maturely.
High above each evening’s stars well beyond all clouds of doubt,
the love of daughters for their fathers
wanders painfully in pursuit of an allusive ideal –
acceptance, affection and affirmation never extended.
Most often the love between is only limited, conditional love
imperfectly offered but true love nonetheless.

To submit a photo or a poem, email Assistant Library Director Brittany Taylor at