Search
  • Clare

An Ode to My Father's (Over)protectiveness

Updated: Feb 10

My phone rings for the fifth time in five consecutive minutes

it’s my dad again; “when will you be back home tonight? It's 10pm already”

I’m back late

he should be asleep – I’m 19, old enough to look after myself –

but he’s got fear (care), the size of a swimming pool gushing through him when I’m away

so I know he’s awake waiting for me to be home

He hands me a bottle filled with warm water,

“A fluid body is a body that rests well, drink up and rest little pea”

When I’m fast asleep he wakes to check if I’m cold

tucks my toes beneath a second blanket;

like he’s placed my feet under curls of warm ocean waves

The next morning we have breakfast together

he chooses to lift a work call and I get mad

when he’s done talking he lets my anger condense upon his palms,

then wipes it away on his pants

he plants a puddle kiss on my forehead with his puppy face,

how can I stay mad…

We go on a drive together

I play John Marr’s “walk into the sea” on the car stereo

he plays a podcast on the health benefits of swimming, out loud

we’ve become used to our songs merging like waves

waveonewavetwowa-ter

My dad and I, we are two water bodies, connected

on the good days, he builds our memory reservoir

on the bad days, he brings a water lily for my lake heart

See, I get annoyed with my him sometimes;

these "annoying" things have become innate for him,

like flowing is for river water

but I love him

If I have to start talking about how much I love him,

I’d have to gulp down an ocean and let you meet me at the shores

of all the beaches dad and I spent my childhood in

building sandcastles, dreams and a bond -

river daughter, ocean father,

two always ending up one


When we are apart,

I let the tap run a little longer

I walk by the route that overlooks the river

I hold my palms out when it rains

I… I sleep with a water bottle bedsides me

No matter where I go,

I know he’s swimming in the water with me,

keeping our hearts intertwined,

keeping me afloat

Vaishnavi is a second year, BSc Management student at LSE, irrevocably drawn towards poetry. "My poetry, by far, is a collection of stories drawn from various experiences in my life. Sometimes my poems are cookie crumbles of myself, sometimes a large slice of cake and sometimes a whole dessert that’s devoured into."


164 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All