To my daughter

It might have been an ordinary day at the beginning of winter. You know how I dislike cold. We used to joke about it.

This morning I watched school girls giggling together on the sleepy yellow bus. And I thought of you. My heart swelled … with love, and pride and longing. I have learned that the best way is to look elsewhere and blink few times on purpose. It is usually OK after that.

Office hours rolled on in their orderly rhythm … ‘battery people’ sitting in their cubicles, typing into their computers. For a dollar. This is what’s called work. I have recently read wonderful poem titled: ‘What Work Is’ by Philip Levine. I will copy it here for you. Remember how we always used to talk about poems, books, movies, and what’s going on? I miss that. You did not mind my accent; just teased me about it … and corrected my words because you wanted me to say it right. So nobody will laugh at me. Like they sometimes did … now I do not even mind any longer.

I know you do not like me going on and on in my runaway sentences, so I won’t. I just wanted to tell you that it was not an ordinary day, because when you called, stale office air exploded into thousand rainbows. Your voice spilled over from the phone into the grey mist of an early evening and coloured it the brightest yellow … it was spring in my cubical. Spring I am carrying in me since the day you were born … my beautiful, wonderful, clever, courage’s DAUGHTER! I love you.


What Work Is

We stand in the rain in a long line
waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work.
You know what work is–if you’re
old enough to read this you know what
work is, although you may not do it.
Forget you. This is about waiting,
shifting from one foot to another.
Feeling the light rain falling like mist
into your hair, blurring your vision
until you think you see your own brother
ahead of you, maybe ten places.
You rub your glasses with your fingers,
and of course it’s someone else’s brother,
narrower across the shoulders than
yours but with the same sad slouch, the grin
that does not hide the stubbornness,
the sad refusal to give in to
rain, to the hours wasted waiting,
to the knowledge that somewhere ahead
a man is waiting who will say, “No,
we’re not hiring today,” for any
reason he wants. You love your brother,
now suddenly you can hardly stand
the love flooding you for your brother,
who’s not beside you or behind or
ahead because he’s home trying to
sleep off a miserable night shift
at Cadillac so he can get up
before noon to study his German.
Works eight hours a night so he can sing
Wagner, the opera you hate most,
the worst music ever invented.
How long has it been since you told him
you loved him, held his wide shoulders,
opened your eyes wide and said those words,
and maybe kissed his cheek? You’ve never
done something so simple, so obvious,
not because you’re too young or too dumb,
not because you’re jealous or even mean
or incapable of crying in
the presence of another man, no,
just because you don’t know what work is.


Author: Daniela

Reader, Writer, Mother, Freethinker, Habitual Day Dreamer, Blogger - Sharing Ideas, Poetry, Prose, and Conversations on the Lantern Post!

14 thoughts on “To my daughter”

  1. Hae Mum, reading this one made me smile 😀 <like this, but bigger :DD. It almost made me well up a bit too, coz its got so much you in it. The way you write, its like your talking to me sometimes. I guess i hear you best through your writing. If you know what I mean. I like your writing, because it is you. The choppiness, the slightly bad english 😛 all the little mistakes. it's quite comforting 🙂 I find myself repeating your mistakes sometimes, so much so that people ask me where I'm from, like I'm the immigrant. Things like "Close the light" that's something you always used to say, i don't mind that you say it, or that i say it, or that my kids may say it. It's part of the Kovacic/Dragas blood line, after all. So what i really mean, is keep on wriiting, please. Your really quite good xx
    Love from,
    Your Daughter,
    Deborah Kovacic


    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you more than any words can express. I am writing love … there are two things in my life that really and truly matter to me; YOU and MY WRITINGS!
      Love you,
      Your Mum


  2. What a wonderful post & comments between the 2 of you! While reading them, I felt like I’m invading your privacies. And yet I just want to tell you – it’s such a wonderful post!!!

    I wish one day my daughters would visit my blog and even comment on some of my posts. When they found out I have started a blog, they were not too impressed. I think they feel blogging is not for their mother but for themselves.

    Anyway, wonderful post & comments, I will spend sometimes to read through all your posts 🙂


    1. Oh thank you very much for your kind words. My girl and I are very close …. I raised her myself after I left Croatia during the war. However, trust me we do fight sometimes! You just keep on blogging … they willlearn to love it. Kids always test us first before they give their ‘approval’; it is how they learn! All the Best, Daniela



      1. I totally understand what you mean, my girls and I can be very close at times and yet they can be very tricky at times as well 😉
        Thanks for the encouragement, I will keep on blogging!


  3. It so beautiful! You sounded just like my mother! Even I used to tease her for all the grammatical mistakes she used to make while speaking English! Even she writes poems for me 🙂 This post made my eyes misty.


  4. Daniela,
    Your love and pride in your daughter is lovely, strong, and so real that the words give your emotions life and form. I understood every sentence and feeling as I feel very much the same way about my daughter. From the hour she was born I knew I would never be the same, and life would never be the same. Every day I’ve been grateful that I am Molly’s mother.
    Your blog is beautiful.


    1. Dear Marylin,

      Thank you so much for such a lovely and thoughtful comment. Once we become mothers; we are shaped by the sheer beauty and magnitude of it for as long as we live.

      Thank you,


  5. wow, you two get along very well. She must be a happy to have a mom like you. many people die before they hear I love you from their parents, it is taken for granted that they know they are loved. This is different, this is uplifting. This leaves a smile in your face both in a sunny day and a rainy day!
    This is beautiful!


    1. Thank you very much Noel … your words touched me deeply. The relationship my daughter and I have has been forged over those many years having just each other in the world. She is well on her way to become an independent, educated young woman who I always thought to smile often, love truly and forgive easily. In a word; to simply be a decent human being, and true to self.

      Many thanks,


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