There were many names
in the book
to choose from.
We chose to name you

There was Harper
and Lena
and Iris,
and all those names
sounded good,
I guess.

I thought of Sylvia
and Emily,
and other names,
but when my eye
and ear

Heard Emerson,
I thought
that was
the perfect name
for you.

Emerson lived
outside of the box,
and so shall you.
He transcended art,
and so shall you.

But yet,
if that’s not what
you want to do,
whatever you do,
you can do.

I am not ever
going to
tell you
what is
right for you.

I will keep you
from danger,
from the edges
of the world.

But one day,
you won’t be
little Emmie girl.
You will be grown
and on adventures.

And I’ll be happy
just being your dad.
And you will always be
the light that lit up
this tired writer.

You will always
be the fire
that burned
and made
life brighter.

You gave me
a second chance
to be better,
to make words come alive
and jump off the ledger.

And even if no one
ever reads them,
and even if no one
ever cares,
and even if

I don’t make it
to the level
that every poet
and dares,

I will write
each poem
with you
as my

And that
gives me
a sense of peace,
that each poem
I write

from now
until eternity
will be one
you can read,
a little leaf off our family tree.


Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly. His third book, Train of Thought 2: Almost Home is available now at the Oddball Book Store.