Jesse Parent wrote a poem addressed to the boys who might want to date his daughter.
He begins with threats ("If you break her heart, I will hear it snap"), but continues with words of tremendous love and awe for this human he helped raise.
"I have been teaching her love all of her life, and all that I ask is that you continue the lesson," Parent, who describes himself on his website as a software engineer and performance poet, recited in a presentation of his poem at the 2014 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational last month. "Love her, befriend her, protect her. Be there when I can't. And when my body gives up to the grave let the grin that eternity carves into my face be a reflection of the peace that your love brings to her, and we should get along just fine."
Watch the video of Parent's spoken-word poem below. Trust us, you'll want to see it through to the end: There's an unexpected twist you shouldn't miss.
As the video of Parent's poem went viral this week, some netizens raised concerns about its content, particularly its violent themes. In response, Adam Mordecai of Upworthy, who shared the clip online Monday, reminded viewers of the poem's satirical nature.
"To those of you who think this is advocating violence or perpetuating stereotypes, you are mistaken," Mordecai wrote on Facebook. "[Parent] is joking about his inner voice and how to squash it to respect his daughter's wishes and intent. Almost every dad I've met has that irrational voice in his head. The key is to acknowledge it, so you can find ways to actually communicate with your kids in a responsible fashion."
Parts of Parent's poem certainly made us cringe, but his brutal honesty and his willingness to acknowledge his own hypocrisy is worthy, we think, of praise. His poem lays bare his flaws as a dad, and reveals the earth-shattering love he feels for his child. It may challenge you, it may move you. We recommend you watch it and judge for yourself.