How to be a daughter

add glitters, / add sprinkles, / add prayers,

How to be a daughter
Photo by Atul Vinayak / Unsplash

by Heather Ann Pulido

If you ask my aunts,
to be a daughter
means to gouge your heart
out of your chest and

   add glitters,
   add sprinkles,
   add prayers,
   add salt and pepper to taste,
   add sili from Lola’s front yard,
   add liquid seasoning,
   add a bright red ribbon,
   add Christmas lights,
   add a crown of roses,
   add a pageant sash,
   add your most expensive perfume,
   add your sealed Balikbayan box,
   add your perfect quizzes,
   add your hardbound thesis,
   add your boyfriend,
   add your phantom wedding invitation,
   add your imaginary children,
   add your imaginary children’s imaginary children

fuse it all together and
hang it on a silver string
tie it all together and
drape it ‘round your father’s

but don’t pull
don’t pull
don’t pull

Heather Ann Pulido is an indigenous author from Baguio City, Philippines. She writes to grow both roots and wings. A longtime student journalist and content writer, she is a returning literary artist. This year, she aims to feature more of her experiences as a bisexual woman in her work. Her poems are in Moss Puppy Magazine, Hot Pot Magazine, and underscore_magazine. When she's supposed to be writing, she's on Twitter (@heather_tries).