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What Her Father Gave, Part I

Carmen Hastings had lived with her father
ever since she was just two months old,
they resided outside Nashville, where her dad
made a living with used cars, bought and sold.

Carmen did not look much like her dad, Chuck,
he would smile at her, and then would say,
“Those dark eyes and hair, and that olive skin,
they’re fine gifts that your mother gave.”

Chuck loved his daughter, she could make him smile,
and that was never an easy thing to do,
he hadn’t always been the fatherly type,
caused more than his share of trouble in youth.

He never married, never even dated,
his little Carmen was his life’s concern,
when it came to looks, brains, and business sense,
he’d just say,”That’s a gift from your mother.”

It became something of a running joke,
since Carmen knew not the truth of it,
she’d just smile, say,”Now dad, come on,
you’ve got to five yourself a little credit.”

Although alone, Chuck gave her a good life,
until one day when Carmen was seventeen,
Chuck fell faint, then collapsed in the hall,
Carmen called for the ambulance hurriedly.

At the hospital doctors gave a hard truth,
Pancreatic Cancer, and very advanced.
There was nothing to do, Carmen buried her head,
crying softly there into her hands.

Chuck managed to make it another six months,
died a week short of Carmen’s eighteenth birthday,
instead of presents, and partying with friends,
to the funeral Carmen made her way.

She had no idea what she would do next,
she had nothing left to offer but tears,
but as the preacher spoke she saw a woman,
could be her twin! Give or take twenty years…

She knew who it was before the woman spoke:
“Hello Carmen, I’m Fileena, your mom.
I know it’s a sad day, but I’m happy to
look upon you…it’s been so very long.”

After all the ceremonies had ended
the two walked down to a coffee shop,
Fileena said,”I’m sorry, for your dad,
and I know meeting you like this is a lot.

“It wasn’t you that made me stay away,
I wish I could have rocked you at night,
but I had you so young…and was into drugs,
you father knew I could not raise you right.

“But I’m not that person, now own my own fire,
please let me help you in this trying time.
Let me give you a job, pay will be good,
if you say yes then I think you will find

“that even if I cannot be the mother
who bandaged knees and put you to bed,
I can help you get a foothold in the world,
either through experience, or money for college.”

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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