Daughters Quotes (125 Quotes)
“To be the father of growing daughters is to understand something of what Yeats evokes with his imperishable phrase 'terrible beauty.' Nothing can make one so happily exhilarated or so frightened: it's a solid lesson in the limitations of self to realize that your heart is running around inside someone else's body. It also makes me quite astonishingly calm at the thought of death: I know whom I would die to protect and I also understand that nobody but a lugubrious serf can possibly wish for a father who never goes away.”
“And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds "joy luck" is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation.”
“MY MOTHER GETS DRESSED
It is impossible for my mother to do even
the simplest things for herself anymore
so we do it together,
get her dressed.
I choose the clothes without
zippers or buckles or straps,
clothes that are simple
but elegant, and easy to get into.
Otherwise, it's just like every other day.
After bathing, getting dressed.
The stockings go on first.
This time, it's the new ones,
the special ones with opaque black triangles
that she's never worn before,
bought just two weeks ago
at her favorite department store.
We start with the heavy, careful stuff of the right toes
into the stocking tip
then a smooth yank past the knob of her ankle
and over her cool, smooth calf
then the other toe
cool ankle, smooth calf
up the legs
and the pantyhose is coaxed to her waist.
You're doing great, Mom,
I tell her
as we ease her body
against mine, rest her whole weight against me
to slide her black dress
with the black empire collar
over her head
struggle her fingers through the dark tunnel of the sleeve.
I reach from the outside
deep into the dark for her hand,
grasp where I can't see for her touch.
You've got to help me a little here, Mom
I tell her
then her fingertips touch mine
and we work her fingers through the sleeve's mouth
together, then we rest, her weight against me
before threading the other fingers, wrist, forearm, elbow, bicep
and now over the head.
I gentle the black dress over her breasts,
thighs, bring her makeup to her,
put some color on her skin.
Green for her eyes.
Coral for her lips.
I get her black hat.
She's ready for her company.
I tell the two women in simple, elegant suits
waiting outside the bedroom, come in.
They tell me, She's beautiful.
Yes, she is, I tell them.
I leave as they carefully
zip her into
the black body bag.
Three days later,
I dream a large, green
When I unzip it,
my mother is inside.
Her dress matches
her eyeshadow, which matches
perfectly. She's wearing
"I'm here," she says, smiling delightedly, waving
and I wake up.
Four days later, she comes home
in a plastic black box
that is heavier than it looks.
In the middle of a meadow,
I learn a naked
more than naked.
I learn a new way to hug
as I tighten my fist
around her body,
my hand filled with her ashes
and the small stones of bones.
I squeeze her tight
then open my hand
and release her
into the smallest, hottest sun,
a dandelion screaming yellow at the sky.”
“Tereza's mother never stopped reminding her that being a mother meant sacrificing everything. Her words had the ring of truth, backed as they were by the experience of a woman who had lost everything because of her child. Tereza would listen and believe that being a mother was the highest value in life and that being a mother was a great sacrifice. If a mother was Sacrifice personified, then a daughter was Guilt, with no possibility of redress.”
“I am thinking about the way that life can be so slippery; the way that a twelve-year-old girl looking into the mirror to count freckles reaches out toward herself and that reflection has turned into that of a woman on her wedding day, righting her veil. And how, when that bride blinks, she reopens her eyes to see a frazzled young mother trying to get lipstick on straight for the parent/teacher conference that starts in three minutes. And how after that young woman bends down to retrieve the wild-haired doll her daughter has left on the bathroom floor, she rises up to a forty-seven-year-old, looking into the mirror to count age spots.”
“She serves me a piece of it a few minutes
out of the oven. A little steam rises
from the slits on top. Sugar and spice -
cinnamon - burned into the crust.
But she's wearing these dark glasses
in the kitchen at ten o'clock
in the morning - everything nice -
as she watches me break off
a piece, bring it to my mouth,
and blow on it. My daughter's kitchen,
in winter. I fork the pie in
and tell myself to stay out of it.
She says she loves him. No way
could it be worse.”