Daughters – by Lily Tobias


Scissortail Park at twilight.
A girl cups her hand around
her popsicle-blue stained mouth
to whisper in her dad’s ear.
I brush a spider off my shoe,
eat tupperware potato salad,
study the wind that blows
their exchange…

think of my dad back home,
dropping a walnut shell or spool of thread
in my drawer, finding me
the back of a pin or broken earring,
objects we’d add to the collection
I used to think I’d save —
the penny pressed by a passing train,
the rusted pen cap and the pearl

…Scissortail Park at twilight.
The orchestra I came to hear
tunes its strings, bright trumpet,
jubilant flute, and her laugh,
her dad’s whispered reply
and her sprawl across the picnic blanket.
His glance into the face
of the sky, which is just as well
the face of his daughter;
vast and momentarily near.


Lily Tobias is a poet from Fenton, Michigan. Her poems explore themes of family, memory, grief, joy, and the natural environments of Michigan and Oklahoma, where she lived for two years. She publishes the (semi)monthly mini poetry zine Fragile Texts, which you can inquire about on her website, lilytobias.com.