“My Father’s Room” by Maureen Daniels


The first time I saw my father naked
I was sitting on his bed with my coat still on,

 

having just walked in from the snow,
and through the lobby of aquariums

 

filled with face-sized fish, blue
and two to a tank.

 

My eyes dropped
to his un-belted trousers

 

straggling at his feet.
Two nurses were holding him out to me

 

as if he were an offering.
It was this

 

I had wondered about
my whole life.

 

It was hideous, beautiful,
shuffling to the diapered bed.

 

And for the first time,
as he came toward me

 

I stood up and away from him,
my handbag in hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maureen Daniels grew up in England and San Jose, California. She has a B.A. from CUNY Hunter College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from CUNY City College. She is the winner of The Doris Lipmann Prize, The Stark Short Fiction Award, The Audre Lorde Award, and was a runner up for the Astraea Emerging Writers Award. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications such as Lambda Literary, Global City Review, Nibble, Scapegoat Review, and others. She currently lives in New York City.