© 2017 by Jack A. Urquhart
It seemed like nothing at the time
all those many years ago,
no more than an instant’s frustration
when I stooped to let you go—
just the fruit of a sleepless night,
the strain of overwrought paternity set loose.
It seemed all your fault back then,
the toddling source of cacophonous discord,
and that you deserved to take that spill.
No big deal to fall from knee-height,
and surely no harm done, I thought;
nary a bruise on your fat little bum.
Yet the moment you keened,
I knew it to be something more,
and that I’d failed again, again
the limitless tests of love,
and that the damage was done:
a first fracture in the bones of trust.
Jack Andrew Urquhart was born in the American South. Following undergraduate work at the University of Florida, Gainesville, he taught in Florida's public schools. He earned a Master of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was the winner of the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Award for Fiction (1991). His work has appeared online at Clapboard House Literary Journal, Crazyhorse Literary Journal, and Standards: The International Journal of Multicultural Studies. He is the author of So They Say, a collection of self-contained, inter-connected stories and the short story, They Say You Can Stop Yourself Breathing. Formerly a writing instructor at the University of Colorado’s Writing Program, Mr. Urquhart was, until 2010, a senior analyst for the Judicial Branch of California. He resides in Washington State.
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The challenges, the rewards, the pain and the joy of parenting are surely without end. They endure, haunting and thrilling us as long as we live. Failure and success seem beyond measure. Yet, no matter the course of events, you must know that you loved and were loved … and love still.
I know no father who has loved his children so.