Graduation Gift

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Dad,
I want you to come to my graduation.
Where the sun will be hot,
The bleachers searing and,
Parents fidget as they wait for a familiar name.
I want you there.
To see how far I've come,
Not as a fact of what I've done without you,
When you weren't here for so much.
No.
I want you there,
In your best dressed.
Unshaven like two years ago on christmas,
In the wee hours of the morning,
When Santa would have seen us,
Hugging in an unrealized goodbye.
I want you there,
Drowned in axe and cigarette smoke,
Because I love you.
Even though you agreed to leave.
I want you there,
Where the sun will blister
And the bleachers will be packed.
Where you'll fidget to here my name.
Because I want you to remember me then.
Among the sea blue caps and cloud white gowns.
I want you to remember me as your first to make it
And mark it in memory.
I want you there,
To accept this gift that you can't forget.
Your daughter made it.
18 and all dolled up,
Smiling and maybe even crying.
Hugging like we hadn't missed a day.
Never to be forgotten.
Even when age comes to steal your mind away.
Dad,
I want you to come to my graduation.
Because I love you,
And want you to have a good memory
That blocks out the bad,
Just like when the monsters hid under my bed.
To hold you over until sunrise too.
Not for me,
But just for you.
Because I never stopped loving you.

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