I love dads. Fathers are fine, but dads
have those beards and freckles on their forearms.
Dads drink a beer brewed one
or two towns over. They kiss you on top
of your head and sigh into the end of the day,
Not bad. That’s a thing dads say
when I’ve poured together a marinade
for chicken. I soak it.
Dads grill it. They dig in the ground,
dig for keys in their deep pockets.
“Do you need anything?” They go to the store.
Dads put their hands on my back
and we say “these kids. These kids!” as though
we can’t remember why
we ever gave up those brunches in St. Paul, those
late nights in Providence.
But we remember. These kids.
Dads hug like a summer thunderstorm
an old camper van.
On hot nights they turn the fan on,
and we spread out like snow angels in our bed.
Fathers are fine, but dads don’t mind
when these kids these kids sneak like foxes into our bed
and pour themselves around us.
Renee Beauregard Lute is the author of the Winicker Wallace children’s book series (Calico, 2017), and her poetry has been published in a number of journals, including Bellevue Literary Review, Mamalode, Literary Mama, and in an earlier issue of Mothers Always Write. She lives in a suburb of Seattle with her husband and three fabulous children, ages six, four, and two.