paternal (adj).

7c10abe04cae9c7073a1b85263bb5444.jpg

Let me tell you the broadness and depth
of what it means to feed the children: 

There is the the earning of wages, yes, 
there is the bringing home of rations.

But there's more to it: there are piercing cries
in the middle of the deepest sleep;
there are hungry mouths that won't feed and
a tired, beautiful woman whose eyes they inherited with
whom you you have divided the tasks in order to conquer -
wait, has it become us against them?

There is the brutal softness of being awake in the
middle of the night, with nowhere to be but the inky midnight, 
cradling these tiny people who have plummeted
full force into your reality, and it's just you and their
milky gaze, it's just you
and their helpless adoration of your own
helpless features, it's just you
and their prophetic, nonsensical cooing. 

Let me tell you the broadness and depth
of what it means to be a father:

there is the fact that I used to be
a man who knew what needed to be done
and I was made confident by the fact
that I could do the work, 

and now I am a man who has nothing to do
except wake at all hours of keeping
and do all of the work and receive
all of the honour that comes with
feeding the children.