September 5, 2017

For My Future Daughter. {Poem}


If I had a daughter… 

I would instill in her a love for books and reading
Because they are willing to hold your hand during your darkest times
Because they are capable of letting you smell, hear, see, and feel other dimensions
Without any means of transportation.

If I had a daughter,
I would take her on walks in the forest
Letting her smell the perfume of woody trees
The lovely tones of roses and sunflowers
The calming scent of river banks and waterfalls.

I would guide her nose to new senses
The pleasing rhythms of chirruping birds
The ebb and flow of water
The howling sound of foxes.

I would open her eyes bright and new
With the blazing fire of the sun
The vibrant leaves of plants
The monochromatic petals of flowers whose grace befriends you
The subtle hue of the transparent water.

And I would teach her
To always surrender to nature
To always care for nature
To always put nature first over buildings
To come near it when she has problems or difficulties.

If I had a daughter,
I would teach her at a young age
To be strong and stand up on her own
To cause destruction and revolution whenever she liked
To make her own decisions—
Before society tries to teach her to silence herself
Before society instills in her mind the practices that “ought” to be followed
Before society discourages her from reaching her dreams and aspirations.

If I had a daughter,
I would tell her
She could love whomever she wants
Gay, straight, bisexual, lesbian, transgender
Because love is, and would be the only thing,
That would have a permanent residence
In our hearts.

If I had a daughter,
I would tell her to follow her passions
No matter how unreachable they are,
To keep reaching for her dreams
To discard practicality
To shut off old mentalities
And to always follow the whispers of her heart.

If I had a daughter,
I would tell her
She could do whatever she wants—
Whatever she wants to wear
Whatever she wants to put on her hair
Whatever she wants to play with
Whomever she wants to hang out with
Because it’s her life
And snatching it away from her
Would be the biggest sin
A father could do.

If I had a daughter,
I would teach her how to love—
How to love endlessly
How to love unapologetically
How to love undyingly
How to love unconditionally
Because when you love
You are one with the universe and the whole.

If I had a daughter,
I would shout at her endlessly—
For thinking twice about her decisions
For letting other people have control her life
For letting society dictate what she is capable of and not
For doubting her own powers and potentials
Because no one, not even me as her father
Could serve as a substitute to walk on her road

If I had a daughter,
I would teach her how to respect elders
But fight when they demean her.
I would teach her how to respect the church
But voice her opinions when she disagrees with the teachings.
I would teach her how to fight, physically and internally
But stop when others are hurt already.
Because having strong roots within your system
Would be the only way to
Get on with the daunting labyrinths of life.

If I had a daughter,
I would tell her to be open with me—
To tell me her problems, desires, and frustrations
To tell me about her new hobbies
To introduce me to her partner
To tell me the moment she locked eyes with her crush
To tell me why she cried at school
To tell me why she fought back against teachers and elders
To tell me what book intrigues her at the moment
To tell me what movies she is currently interested in.
Because it hurts like hell
It hurts like needles being inserted in every open pore of your body
When you know you don’t have anyone by your side.

If I had a daughter,
I would try not to help her with her problems
Not because I don’t care about her
But because I want her to be able to stand up on her own.
When I pass away and go to another realm
I want her to believe in herself
That she can do it
That the strength and power of a woman lies within her

If I had a daughter,
I would take her to museums
And explain to her the pieces she could see—
Are the ways people felt and breathed through life
Are the ways people colored their world
Are the ways people stayed sane
Sometime in the past

If I had a daughter,
I would cook with her
Not with the modern electric stove
But by rubbing two stones with force to create fire
To let her know how people stayed alive in ancient times
And to let her realize that in order
To have sense of the present, one must revisit the past.

If I had a daughter,
I would inculcate in her a love for animals
How to love them as human beings
How to treat them with kindness, compassion, and dignity
How to feed them as if you’re feeding your own child
How to take them to the hospital whenever they have a hard time
Because when humans would not be around
It is animals that would stay by our side
And weep, laugh, and cry with us.

If I had a daughter,
I would take her to orphanages and distribute food to children—
To let her see how lucky she is to be in her position
To let her know that so many people are in dire need of help
To let her know that life is more than just staring at a blank, lifeless computer screen
To let her know that life is not fair all the time
To let her know the hierarchy of life.
Because when she knows all of this
She would learn how to respect and treat people
With dignity and compassion
No matter their status in life.

If I had a daughter,
I would take time out every week
To spend time with her
To make memories with her
To cry and laugh with her
To go through old photos with her
Because I would want
To guide her every step of the way
And make her feel
That her father is always on her side.

If I had a daughter,
I would help her find the way she likes expressing herself—
It may be through poetry
It may be through prose
It may be through speaking in public
It may be through painting and drawing
As long as she knows
She would have something to lean on during gloomy days.

If I had a daughter,
I would limit her time on technology
Not because I hate technology
But because I don’t want her to
Witness the brutalities that are happening on Earth
At such an innocent and pure age.

If I had a daughter,
I would travel with her
Go to places we have never been before
Enjoy cultures we have never seen before
Eat exotic foods we have never tasted before
In hopes of opening her eyes to the vast spectrum of life.

And lastly,
If I had a daughter,
I would teach her to love herself wholeheartedly
To put herself first always
More than anyone and anything
Because when you love yourself
With an intense amount of electricity and energy
You are capable
Of sending and spreading that love
To everyone in need.



Author: Joshua Go 
Image: Unsplash/Kyle Head
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Danielle Beutell

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Joshua Go