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Daughters and Fathers

June 15, 2007

I received this poem from Panhala today and it really struck me how much of my father I now carry inside me. For the longest time – he existed outside me and when he died – all the words about “he will live on inside you” felt trite and dismissive.

In time – as I re-member him and accept both his gifts and his weaknesses as I see him through the eyes of an adult daughter – he does live on inside me.

For daughters and their fathers I share this:

Shifting the Sun — Diana Der-Hovanessian

Shifting the Sun

When your father dies, say the Irish,
you lose your umbrella against bad weather.
May his sun be your light, say the Armenians

When your father dies, say the Welsh,
you sink a foot deeper into the earth.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Canadians,
you run out of excuses.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the French,
you become your own father.
May you stand up in his light, say the Armenians.

When you father dies, say the Indians,
he comes back as the thunder.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Russians,
he takes your childhood with him.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the English,
you join his club you vowed you wouldn’t.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Armenians,
your sun shifts forever.
And you walk in his light.

~ Diana Der-Hovanessian ~

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One comment

  1. so beautiful! thanks for sharing it.



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