Sweet, strong, melodious
Barbara Streisand and Bette Midler
beckon ears to listen
Ears gladly oblige

Rich, sassy, confident
Aretha Franklin and Etta James
command ears to hear
Ears shamelessly opt in

My voice, unlike theirs
(though I wish it were)
can’t plead with pitch
demand respect with sassy notes
or croon emotions with soul

And yet

Tender, harmonious, focused–
my voice, all my own
which my daughters usually neither
hear nor appreciate my effort

I sing anyway

I sing in hopes of reaching their core
their inner voice
in hopes of teaching and encouraging them
to sing courageously 
to sing with integrity

Unique, youthful, striving
may each daughter sing 
the song only they can.