Daddy by Laura Lindsay

I stand at the foot of Daddy’s bed

rubbing his pale, cold feet in rhythm

breathing deep and slow

willing him to take my breath

and my energy.

Imagining his scarred lungs

taking in my air,

I close my eyes

ignoring the beeping monitor,

the gurgling tubing

the insidious hiss

of 72 liters of oxygen.


Swimming across time

To that fifth-grade Alabama summer

My chubby, sunburned Daddy

who smiles upside-down

tweeks my cab-door-Annie ears

dares me to race across the lake.

I dolphin-dive quickly away

slapping the water sloppily

breathing in half of the lake.

His short, strong arms

easily catch me where I’ve stopped

to cough and sputter

he teaches me to breathe in a rhythm.

“That’s it, Laurie.

Breathe right,

breathe left,


and steady.”


That’s it, Daddy.

Breathe in,

breathe out,


and steady.

5 thoughts on “Daddy by Laura Lindsay

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  1. The poem here is very emotional because it slowly tells us how a father interacts with his daughter despite his condition


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