Insurance

For my daughter on the eve of her departure for college

 

I hand the white plastic card to youInsurance card

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,

Daughter,

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.

 

This card,

cracked and faded in my wallet,

will now reside in yours.

 

September 2015

 

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