I Am Peter Pan’s Daughter. {poetry}


Finding myself fascinated by him,

Years wondering if he thought of me.

Wondering if he loved me,

Wondering why he left.

Wondering would he pick up the telephone if he saw my name on the caller ID,

Wondering what I would say.

Would I be angry and blow the chance to have a relationship with him?

Wondering if I get my gypsy sense, restlessness, and wanderlust from him.

I could count how many times I saw him on one hand since the day he left,

11-16-19-26 were my ages.

Maybe I’d win the lotto with those numbers.

Wondering what qualities I have that came from him.

Dancing and being an artist, my mom would say.

But what else?

Wondering what qualities I have that I cultivated because he left.

Like being contentious and brave enough to face the most difficult situations with an open heart, to never back down.

On the other hand, do I push away loved ones because I’m afraid they’ll leave and I’m trying to stay in control?

Wondering what his voice sounds like,

Wondering what makes him laugh,

Wondering what he’d think of being a grandfather,

Wondering what if he’d embrace my sons.

I sent him pictures once, but he had moved.

Wondering what it would take to get him to stay,

Wondering how to hold on to someone who once said being a young father made him feel like a caged tiger.

Wondering why he paces so and what I did wrong.

Wondering what is the glue that can mend this broken heart.

Is it wrapped in a mystery, contained in a box that holds the secrets and magical draw of Never Never Land?

I remember the red booth we ate our last meal together. Like a magnet, it draws my attention every time I dine there.

Hanging out in Huntington Beach was the main excursion during his visit right after my eleventh birthday. It’s recounted on the first page of my first diary.

Only recently did I understand why I was so mad when they demolished the quaint, brick buildings. I could no longer recall one of the few precious moments I had with my dad.

When I put two and two together, I realized I still cared. Maybe enough for both of us.

Maybe enough to weather the storms of discomfort during the first few moments of reconciliation, retribution, and reckoning with what has been

— then leaving it in the past and moving on to what can be.

Somewhere inside me I know he always wanted me, loved me.

He was just too lost to come find me.

A hero to Lost Boys, Peter Pan uses a happy thought to fly, a thimble to kiss, and a needle and thread to make his errant shadow self behave.

Peter Pan is in charge of dreams, adventure, play, and freedom. He is the trickster, making us laugh, full of boyish wonder.

I could feel him, hear him calling me this January — unbeknownst to me when he became sickest. So once again I searched for him, but found only dead ends.

If he knew I’d be willing to let bygones be bygones, what if?

He was a shooting star

Burning bright

Burning fast

He was my Peter Pan

I am his daughter.

My sister and I, the lost children — found.

And now we have reunited with a family to call our own, offering the glue to mend a broken heart.

It’s not so odd that I am giving his eulogy. I’ve always wanted my father in my life. I just didn’t know where to find him.

Now I know where to look,

The second star to the right,

Straight on till morning.


Jamie Della has a writer’s soul and gypsy spirit. Her essay ‘The Wild Feminine Freed #Metoo’ appeared in Riverdale Ave Book’s anthology of #MeToo stories. She is the author of eight books (published as Jamie Wood), a blog, ‘Herbal Journeys’ column for Witches & Pagan magazine, and articles for several magazines and destinations. When not writing, she’s at her potter’s wheel, teaching at women’s retreats, guiding Goddess rituals, backpacking, road-tripping, or hosting AirBnB guests. Sometimes you can find her in the hammock by the creek running from the Eastern Sierra to the Quaking Aspen grove in her backyard.


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