Andrea, 18, watching her Dad in his hospital bed before open-heart surgery:
I know where I got my chin
angular and strong
the outline still there on this man
this man on the bed, sleeping.
He gave me this chin.
It is something we share
a tie that even we cannot break
the startling proof in photographic evidence.
It would seem that he should show up square and I round
or I should be a desert and he the ocean.
But we are not.
One eye squints closed when I smile
it is clear that this too is his legacy
Perhaps the only common ground we have ever shared
So important now that there is something we share.
Is this then what binds us together?
Empirical evidence of love
proving to the world and myself that I am my Father’s daughter.
I love this chin, his chin
it never argues, or annoys, or angers
it holds character and smiles and pain
It is so easy to love this chin.
Sometimes it seems these features are our only commonality
Sometimes I wonder if any of his other stuff made it inside me
But I watch him listen,
hear the news he doesn’t want to hear
And I see him take a breath and then another
And I am so proud to have my father’s chin.