Fish Fry Daughter

Fish Fry Daughter
by Sara Ries
Holiday Inn kitchen, the day I am born:
My father is frying fish for a party of seventeen
when the call comes from the hospital. He stays
until the batter is crispy, cold salads scooped
on platters, rye bread buttered.
Dad never told me this story.
He told my boyfriend, one short order cook to another.
Mom doesn’t know why Dad was late
for her screams and sweat on the hospital bed.
Once, when she was angry with him, she told me:
When your father finally got there, the nurse had to tell
him to get upstairs, “Your wife is having that baby now.”
I hope that when Dad first held me,
it was with haddock-scented hands, apron
over his black pants still sprinkled with flour,
forehead oily from standing over the deep fryer,
telling the fish to hurry  hurry.

0 thoughts on “Fish Fry Daughter

  1. I like the poem, maybe because my father, like a lot of fathers, has been late for everything his entire life, and if he was ever on time it was by no means due to his conscientious attempt at punctuality – he probably misread the clock and thought it was three hours later than it was.

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