I talked to my daughter on Skype,
in Chicago, about to leave for her trip to China
a veteran now of this journey,
but still needing dad
to tell her where the baggage scale was,
and then to tell her what to do
when that scale is with me here in London.
The suitcase to be lightened,
the impossibility of throwing anything out.
Dad. I need all my makeup.
Dad. I need all my cut-offs.
Dad .OK. I will be reasonable.
Gentle logic at a five thousand mile remove.
Memories now of her as a three year old,
many years ago in her bath,
water as cool as she would demand,
and playing submarines and holding her breath,
and of the same three year old,
fascinated with ***** and entering that word
on my keyboard and unleashing
**** by the screenfull.
now, off again, her third trip for full immersion
in a culture in her language of choice
her middle school graduation speech in Chinese.
much much more accomplished than I was,
much much more mature than I was,
knowing what she wants to do with her life,
her school already picked out,
and here I am, her dad,
asks for nothing except my love
which seems enough for now,
and so I will give her all that she asks for,
patrimony at it’s purest.