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Author Biography
Poetry By
  Jordan Legg

Published on: 11/13/2013

I've never been very good at calling You Father.

It's nothing personal, I don't think;
it's just that I've never seen You
as the kind of person who works 9 to 5
at an engineering job and then
commutes home to rant about
incompetent coworkers, or
the kind of person who spends
hours in the basement, fixing bicycles.

I've never seen You as
the kind of person I can beat
in a hearty game of Fifa 2003
over and over and over again,
only to be answered with
a late-night living room checkmate
that regresses to the move where my
knight took Your bishop,
so that we can see that I'll
never beat you at this ancient
sixty-four acre game.

I've never seen You as
the kind of person that likes
campy 80s science fiction movies
based on campier newspaper comic strips,
or the kind of person who takes his son
to Niagara Falls
because the son never went on
an eighth grade field trip.

I've never seen You as
the kind of person that insists
on wearing a horrible moustache
or bumming around the kitchen
in a bathrobe on Saturday morning
cooking pancakes, or reminding his son
that when he was two he made
a concentrated effort to kick down
all Dad's sandcastles, and it's only by
grace that he doesn't do the same thing
to the drippy little masterpiece that
stands on the Lake Huron beach.

I've never seen You as
the kind of person who insists to
an arrogant sixteen-year-old that
he knows a thing or two about women,
And it's okay to admit that you're
feeling confused and alone,
even when that sixteen-year-old doesn't
want to hear it, or the kind of person
who rushes his son to the hospital
because he fell twelve feet face-first
onto a barn floor of solid cement.

I mean, I already had someone to do all that.

And then he just

kind of
And then somebody took me
out for coffee one day,
and she said,

"God will be your Daddy now."

I guess that's why it came as such a surprise to me
when it turned out to be true.

And then I began to see You as
the kind of person who applauds
a poorly written rap song by a
musically challenged teenager,
or gives him just enough strength to stand
in the middle of a world
that doesn't quite get him,
or whose wisdom is just enough to
channel through to the sobs of
a broken-hearted girl just to say
"I'll love you even when they won't."

I began to see You as
the kind of person who suggests
that he and his son do something crazy
in the middle of Pearson Airport,
or pays for post-secondary tuition
with the best summer job his son ever had,
or summon a grass roots movement
of young men who are ready to
take on the world together.

I began to see You as
the kind of person who loves
his son despite the mistakes he's made
and the cousin he betrayed
and teaches him to be grateful for all the
good things he's had and felt and done
with a barely audible whisper that echoes,
"Be strong" from the Northern Ontario wilderness
to the pavement on the Windsor riverfront.

So thanks.

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