Daddy looks in the mirror to see
the image of every late Saturday night
puffy eyes, some darkened blueish areas around
and surely a rich iron red paste upon his lip.
Week past, it was a broken nose
a mouthful of a taste he could not recognize
bruised ribs and a scraped knee
but when did he fall?
His pockets full of cash he would have smiled
had the pain been what he knew
only it was a new encounter this time
with a shaking to make him feel old.
Another weekend on its way
at a great distance from the cubicle
where he spoke of lifetimes with strangers,
made promises rehearsed like a horrible tragedy.
The little girl never knew why he cried when she hugged
the massive frame of her personal giant
her tender curls pressing upon his cheeks
all she could see was a grin in the warmth of his heart.
Tomorrow they will hasten to their private place
pray for a future she will relish
explore the park hand in hand
common, lost in the society of simple lives.
But first he will rest comforted by her puerile caress
mother for an instant to the wounded hero
nurturer to a father without hope
unlikely savior, she knows to kiss his mighty brow.
Infant in this tortured city, touched
by the vertigo of his lost senses
the nightmares have vanished within her puny palms
and he feels himself floating in her secret heaven.