As the Father of Daughters


by John Blase | @johnblase

Some play this phrase like a card in the wake of injustices to blur

their sin of not honoring all women. But this was never to be a game.

For some of us those words—the father of daughters—were branded

on our hearts the instant you were delivered to us slick and bloody

from her, your mother, the life-bearer. We then had that line seared as

signs on our hands and between our eyes to bind us forevermore to

you, the daughters, our staggering joy.


As we walked beside you it was we who were the awkward ones, we raised on

the lie you might shatter. We did not always know how to hold you

and so we often failed as you reached for us—the fathers of daughters.

Forgive us. Please. There were moments we truly did not know what we did.

And then there were days of such sorrow, for we did. In wanting you to be proud

of us we realized all too soon we were but flesh. Still, you have loved

us, the fathers, your earliest men.


If not already then one day soon the river will call our names and we will

vanish from the earth. At last, your piercing eyes will see us in our full frailty.

It is cliché to say we simply had no idea how green the leaves until you came along.

But such is our confession. God only knows how much we have loved you.

Sing and struggle on, daughters of fathers. Sing and struggle on.


John Blase preached for over a decade but then thought he’d go where the money is, so he started writing poetry. He’s a lucky man with a beautiful wife and three kids who look like their mother. His most recent books include The Jubilee: Poems, and Know When To Hold ‘Em: The High Stakes Game of Fatherhood.