For my daughter on the eve of her departure for college
I hand the white plastic card to you
over the hard, gray kitchen counter.
On it are embossed the numbers you need:
the ID number,
the group number,
the number to call for health claims and emergencies.
What the numbers don’t show,
are the years you have been a part of me.
18 chances for me to get it right –
day by day, month by year —
to prepare you:
to feed yourself
and your soul;
to clean your body,
and your dishes;
to organize your room,
and your mind;
to defend yourself,
and your words.
Together, we’ve watched the strong women on film:
Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side,
Viola Davis in The Help,
even Rebecca Ferguson in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.
She rides and fights and finally
goes mano a mano
for all us women fighting in a man’s world.
cracked and faded in my wallet,
will now reside in yours.