A long time ago, it seems
I was born
in a Hollywood hospital
to a Southern Belle
and her intemperate Hispanic husband…
and I was loved.
From the time I came into the world
I always knew I was Daddy’s Girl.
who walked me to sleep
who lifted me to the pulpit to sing
who paid me to shine his Sunday shoes
who gave me free range of his library
who settled my rebellion with a look
who told me nobody was good enough for me
but that I would make a lousy wife anyway.
who in the pain of parting from Mom
gave me to her because, he said, she needed me more
but really, he knew he’d be living hand to mouth
to support our separate households alone.
who every year on my birthday
tells me the story
of the nurse coming out of the delivery room
and saying, “Mr. Gutierrez, you have a daughter.”
I’m glad you finally said you are proud of me.
I’ll always be your girl.