"This Daughter" by Linda Lauretta is a 3am sleepless outpouring of love and override at a father's attempt to limit and curb the natural desires of his growing daughter to be all that she could be.
Had I listened, I’d have never ridden a bike, I’d have never made the harmless mistakes of youth I wouldn’t have tasted Boonesfarm or cannabis or a stolen middle school kiss.
Had I listened to yours, I wouldn’t have let my own voice rise I wouldn’t have looked men straight in the eyes.
Had I listened, I would have denied my vegetarian impulses I’d have never found out that boys make great friends Or let my hair grow ‘til it got split ends.
If I listened, I’d believe that men want only one thing and not found out that sometimes that’s true. The bachelor, the master and I would never have met.
Had I listened, I wouldn’t have been able to love you Or know you loved me despite your endless restrictions.
Had I listened, so many experiences, wonders, pains and truths would have escaped me But I didn’t and I did all those don’ts
Your son told me you decided to let me be because you’d otherwise kill me Your other daughter said you were proud of my indomitable spirit And I think somehow in the end, you must have heard and listened to me.