Father Man

by Brian Doyle

In a coffee shop one morning in Provo, Utah, as I am reading the hoop news,
A very small child, perhaps age three, appears suddenly and says Father Man,
Could you reach me the jellies? And can I have two waffles? And a lot butter?
And for a moment, not even a moment, it was like thirteen seconds, she is my
Daughter, in all sorts of bewildering and shivering ways. Her utter confidence
In me, her eyes the color of winter just like my daughter who is now a woman,
Her making a serious run at as much sugar as she can mow through before her
Mother blows the whistle—even the way she appeared magically at my elbow
With a run of questions like salmon running rapids. She could tell I was a dad
Somehow—the best compliment ever. We stare at each other, plotting butter.