When he becomes a monk, he says I will no longer be his daughter.
To one another, we would be people. Strangers.
But what if I have children? They will not be your grandchildren?
He pauses, considering, then grips the wheel and keeps driving.
I don’t visit him enough and when I do, I never cook for him.
Imagine his monkhood. I would have to give him more respect
as a stranger. His head shaved every three weeks.
No one is allowed to touch a monk’s head. But I am the only one
who massages my father’s temples before he goes to bed.
If I am no longer his daughter, what will I offer him then?

Copyright © 2022 by Monica Sok. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 22, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.