I saw an athletic man at the beach
Playing keep-a-way with his two little daughters by
Holding a small football high in the air.
Like moths flying around him, they tried to get at it.
Determined, they tugged at him with pleading more than strength.
The little one, four or five, pulling on his shirt,
The older girl, maybe seven, jumping at his outstretched arm.
He didn’t give in, they didn’t give up.
They screamed their intentions, but he
Just back-peddled like a quarterback making them chase him.
No matter how hard they tried,
He kept the prize beyond their reach.
This went on for a frustrating amount of afternoon.
I was sure he’d finally reward the girls giving them the ball and their gold medal,
But no, he held on to it until they finally lost interest,
Then with an Olympic smile, their aggrandizing dad dropped it to the ground.
He didn’t hit nor yell at them, but I thought he was cruel none-the-less.
What lesson was he trying to teach them? Never give up.
I doubt it. What lesson were they most likely learning?
He’s a man, bigger and stronger. We can’t win.
As I walked away feeling sympathy for the girls, scorn for their father,
I wondered, will some future boyfriend
Strike a resonant chord in one of their unarmed hearts
When he refuses to yield and acts the bastard.