And as the evening came, the pink lamp warmed and softened.
Play became sweeter and more bewitching.
Calls for bedtime, and soon wet toothbrushes, soppy washcloths,
Bare feet, and brushed hair marked the trail to bed.
Quick! Off the floor and safe under the covers.
Pillows and positions claimed, one more ritual remained.
“Daddy! Don’t forget a kiss and a hug and a pray!”
Down the hall flowed Daddy’s chuckle, but no Daddy.
Big sisterly sigh and her inevitable duty–
“Don’t say pray, say PRAYER.”
Stubbornly, “I say a kiss and a hug and a pray.”
And in loud rebellion, “Daddy! A kiss and a hug and a pray!”
“I’m coming.” And then he did. Crouched down over his girls,
Affection and devotion and for a few sweet moments, all was always well.
Would I go back? Foolishly, yes. I was not created to cling
To his neck and his prayer. We merely glance back here and there.
Nothing of our not-yet reunion is within my understanding.
In a little shame, I picture a pink glow
And wish for a chance to call out to him again.
But another inevitable duty rises,
“No. Live today. Love Christ more.”
And yet, perhaps there is room…in the heaven of a merciful Father,
For another, improved rendition, this time without parting or imperfection,
For girls who have been so long without
A kiss and a hug and a pray.