Family Separation

Fathers’ Day

After months apart, separated
by miles of Texas highway,
our whole family has come together
to celebrate men with children.
In the center of the living room,
my husband, everyone’s father,
is opening this year’s gift.
Inside a simple cardboard box,
the coffee mug we have made
personal with color photos
of all his children—
first generation and grands.
Holding the cup in his big hands,
he shows us the ceramic mural,
a collage of familiar images
of himself with those he loves most—
kissing Christmas angels,
holding hands with a messy toddler,
fishing beside a boy in a john boat,
hiking with a smiling teen,
snuggling a newborn.
Prone to tears these days,
he cries remembering
each moment, each child…
as behind him, on a muted TV,
an exhausted father fights
to free himself from uniformed guards,
his arms reaching for the little girl
who is being wrenched from him,
an anguished daughter whose lips
mouth sobs too true
to forget, Oh, Papa, Mi Papa.

                                  Anne McCrady


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