Advice to My Daughter
A poem inspired by “Advice to My Son” by Peter Meinke
The trick is, to give your heart
wholly to the one you love
(for if you don’t you’ll never prove
the ecstatic despair you’ve been so enamored of
reading about all these years)
but at the same time, to keep your inner eye
wide open, aware that young love is treasured
because it doesn’t last.
What do I mean? I mean
play the part of the romantic heroine, no matter
how provincial the theater you are given may seem,
play it to the hilt, but don’t completely forget
that you may step out of character at any time and
rewrite the role, make it wholly livable
on your own terms.
To be specific, between Joan of Arc and Juliet
are many admirable women who managed
to love passionately and live their own lives.
For example, your mother.
Therefore, marry a man enough like your father
to guarantee that you will never be
completely dependent on him. And enough unlike
your old man to allow the two of them to get along.