The Northville Review
an online literary journal
Fathers and Daughters

Joseph Lombo

A cold and rainy morning
that begs for a do-over.
The van’s a rolling tomb
and I’m buried alive inside.
Hydroplaning wheels carry my daughter and me
for miles while I ponder
how to deal with an alien.

Trumpet blaring ring tones
Announce never ending conversations.
Traffic reports morph into Hip-Hop.
The rear view mirror reflects
Heavy eye liner and sparkling lip gloss.

Oh my god
I have a zit
right on the tip of my nose.
It’s humongous.
Why didn’t you tell me it was there?

Her life is over.
The boys won’t look at her
and the prom is out of the question.
School sucks anyway;
she hardly eats anymore
and when she does she throws up.

Have you told your mother?
She rolls her eyes.
I had zits
when I was your age
and I still got dates.
I toss in the one
about walking five miles to school
in a foot of snow
to make sure she is listening.

I wait for that smile,
the one I used to be able
to bring to her face so easily,
while other rolling tombs
line up behind me
in the school parking lot.

This isn’t about you,
is it Dad?
The door slams
and my daughter disappears
into the sideways falling rain.

About the author

Joe is an insurance manager with a bachelor's degree in Insurance and Risk Management from Temple University, and a master's degree in writing from Rowan University. He has also received the Toni Libro Outstanding Master of Writing Thesis Award from Rowan University. His work has appeared recently in several print and online publications. He lives in Turnersville, New Jersey with his wife and two daughters. When he isn't working, writing or chauffeuring his daughters around, he roots for the Phillies, Eagles and Flyers.