It was at first fire
Then volcanoes 
Now the latest fear keeping 
My daughter’s door open
Through the night
Is that of being afraid
Is there a narrator in this show 
She asks as the authority  
Of the voiceover in the cartoon
Loses what I imagine as credibility 
In her six-year-old mind
It’s a creation myth
The one she’s watching
Because it was intentional 
For months before her conception 
I was afraid of having sex
As though there’s an answer 
That would eclipse this 
New-found complication
How can I not be scared 
Of being scared she asks
Never trust the authority 
Of the narrator I want 
To tell her but I’d be lying


Copyright © 2019 by Noah Eli Gordon. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 30, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem’s aboutness is there, right there, on the surface. It’s a talisman. I wrote it to project into the world my desire to protect my daughter, to empower her with the ability to protect herself. And yet, I think the poem also asks if creating something else—whether it’s a work of art or a child—is an amplification or destruction of one’s I?”
Noah Eli Gordon