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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1968181-I-Will-Call-My-First-Daughter-Lisa
Rated: 13+ · Poetry · Family · #1968181
A poem about the people we bring into our lives
I know what you're thinking: I probably shouldn't know that yet

And I know, a kid my age, people will say I’m not supposed to even be thinking about that yet

Plus, I’m a single guy, so I really shouldn't admit I’ve ever even thought about it

And I know any sort of actual decision is a long way off,
A someday conversation with my someday wife that we'll have
After finding a place to call home for more than one semester,
After finishing grad school, after getting in to grad school, if I get in to grad school,
And, well, there is the small matter of finding a woman mad enough
To marry a man who’s already named one of their children,
But hear me out:

It’s not supposed to be after Lisa Simpson,
Though I do hope my girl will be intelligent and outspoken,
And it’s not for Lisa Kudrow either, even though she was talented enough
To play the crazy hot twin and the hot crazy twin on Friends

I may actually let her believe it’s Lisa Frank, at least until she’s ten,
‘Cause what fourth grade boy didn’t go out of his mind with jealousy when
It was time to start learning fractions and the girl next to you whipped out
A rainbow dolphin notebook with Technicolor unicorns sparkling in the corners,
And all we had to choose from was plain red or plain black?

The real story about my daughter's namesake? That, I'm gonna save, waiting for
Someday when I’m tucking her under the covers or the driver’s side seatbelt-
I mean, probably, if she’s interested, I don’t know…
I do know that I will call my first daughter Lisa,
And after that, the rest I'll leave up to her

I’ll believe that she could be a prima ballerina until she’s paralyzed from the neck down,
I’ll believe she could be president until she registers for the Green Party,
I’ll believe she could play center field for the Yankees until she tells me baseball is stupid
And pulls me off of the couch to save penalty kicks
Between backyard goalposts we carved from apple trees

And I’ll pray she’ll be a poet, a painter, a philanthropist or just a girl
Who gives really good hugs when her friends need someone to be there and hold them,
Someone who takes in oxygen and breathes out beauty
I don't care what her job title is, or how many vacation days she gets
Or how fancy the retirement home she eventually puts us in is,
I just want that

Because the kindest woman I’ve ever known was a janitor in a Nottingham bus depot,
So if you're still wondering how much there is in common between
The size of your paycheck and the size of your impact,
Remember that no one names their children after billionaires


So, daughter I don’t have yet,
If you only learn one thing from your old man, I hope you know this well,

I will not care how much you make, love
Won’t care which job or hand you take, love
In whose home you fall asleep or wake up,
As long as the love is never faked, love
As long as your love is never faked, love

I won’t care how many hearts you break, love
If you’re an ace, gay, bi or straight, love-
So long as the people you choose to surround yourself with are the ones
That you wouldn’t be happy without

Just know that if and when you do bring someone home to meet us,
They should be able to defeat me in pitched Nerf gun combat,
And if they can’t do that, they should at least know to die with honor,
And if they won’t do that, then they’d better laugh as much as I do when
You tell us to stop embarrassing you and cap both our asses

Because if I know anything about my future daughter other than her name,
I know she’ll be a good shot
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