I was my father’s first chance for the son
he planned to name William Edgar the Fourth.
Was he disappointed at my birth?
Possibly, though he never let on.
He taught me to sing all his cowboy songs
and feel the tug of longing in their twang
on bumpy drives to see our Western clan
in the Sandhills where he once belonged.
At the lake, I learned to trust his arms
would hold me up and slowly let me go
as my body learned that it could float.
Then he watched me as I paddled off.
I like to think raising daughters showed him
how to cherish what he hadn’t chosen.