Letters from a father

(based on Letters from a father by Mona Van Duyn)

The six letters one father wrote to his daughter are a reflection of all fathers for their daughters.

The first letter is about father’s state of health:

“Ulcerated tooth keeps me awake, there is

such pain, would have to go to the hospital to have

it pulled …, but can't leave Mother, she falls and forgets her salve

and her tranquilizers, her ankles swell so and her bowels

are so bad, …”


In the second letter, the daughter wants to give her father a bird feeder.

The father says he enjoyed her visit, but doesn't see why she should spend money on it.

“…. it was nice of you to bring the feeder but a terrible waste of your money…”

and then he adds: “Mother likes the redbirds though.”

In the next letter the father writes:

“The birds are eating and fighting.

Your Mother hopes

you can send us a kind of book that tells about birds.”

In the fourth letter he acknowledges the receipt of the book on birds. He says,

“one day we had so many birds and they fight and get excited at

their feed you know”, and then says,

“two or three flew right at us and crashed into our window

and bang, poor little things knocked themselves silly.

We felt awful and didn't know what to do.”

Day by day father's enthusiasm in bird watching is increasing, and he is becoming less bothered about their pain and stability.

“the sparrow I've got here, House Sparrow you wrote,

but I have Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Vesper Sparrows,

Pine Woods and Tree and Chipping and White Throat

and White Crowned Sparrows.”

In the last letter father writes,

“I pulled my own tooth, it didn't bleed at all.

It's sure a surprise how well Mother is doing,

she forgets her laxative but bowels move fine.”

For fathers children embody hope.