Quid Pro Quo

This poem first appeared in Line of Advance (Volume 4) in May 2015.


Quid Pro Quo

We found out something was wrong with her blood.

The minnow in her belly

might be growing incorrectly.

I got this news over the phone.


I was away from home.

I started running

around the airport.

The sun was setting.

The desert heat rose from

where it was stored in the pavement.

Forty days in the desert on that trip.


I stopped next to the runway.

That was the one and only time

I have ever prayed.

If begging is praying.

I promised to teach my child

about God.


My daughter is the only Minnesotan in my family.

She is not afraid of the cold.

She can cross country ski faster than people twice her age.

She can paddle a canoe.

She caught a huge Northern in high style.

“Hold this,” she said as she handed me the rod

and ran to get the net.

She knows how to find the North Star.

She can tell a white pine from a red pine.

I taught her these things.


I look into her healthy blue eyes

and ask her:

What are the only two things

that matter?


She points to her head and says:

What’s in here.

Then she points to her heart and says:

And what’s in here.


I will teach her more

if you need me to.

But I did my best

to hold up my end.

I wanted you to know

I didn’t forget.


Eric Chandler


About Eric Chandler

Husband. Father. Pilot. Cross Country Skier. Writer. Author of Outside Duluth and Down In It.
This entry was posted in Philosophy, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Quid Pro Quo

  1. mariezhuikov says:

    Yowza, that’s a good one!

  2. Dana Griffin says:

    Great poem, and thoughts.

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