by Anita S. Pulier

           …what did I know
   of love’s austere and lonely offices?
—Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays

Not yet allowed to cross the street
I waited patiently at the corner,
peering down the block, until he appeared
walking home from the F train.

I, who have
traveled the world,
seen many wonders,
believe that no
wilderness trek,
no safari thrill,
has ever compared
to the moment I would spot him,
my five-year-old heart racing,
small frame bouncing up and down,
waving, screaming Daddy, Daddy,

and he would laugh,
drop his briefcase,
lift me high above the world,
challenge me to guess
which sweaty palm held
a piece of bubblegum
or penny candy.

Oblivious to his
long and burdensome day,
I long assumed that my joy,
my earth shaking happiness,
was all that consumed us both.

— from Juniper Volume 3, Issue 2