In Springtime, abandoned daughters burst like myopic butterflies with binoculars attached to their faces while they try to identify their absent fathers, who zip through the clouds like geese, but they’re not geese, and they have no sense of direction. Can you see me down here Dad? one abandoned daughter trills, while one father zigzags ever closer to the sun. It’s hurting my eyes, he yells waving his pale wings like flags. Another abandoned daughter spots a cloud in the shape of her father and flies through him again and again. “He wasn’t much of a father,” she says. “He’s better as a cloud.” Another daughter shouts heads up! as her father falls from the sky headlong into the crowd of abandoned daughters. The other fathers cringe and avoid looking down. “They’re out to get us,” they say. “They want money or hugs or something.” The daughters, tired of treading air, fling themselves toward their fathers, eager to bring one home, even if he’s someone else’s father, even if he never earns another dime, even if he sheds all his feathers—but the fathers prove illusive, no longer really fathers.
*Written with Jeff Friedman