Creative Voices: My Dad and the Stingrays

by Kayleigh White |

Stingray | Swanson Chan/Unsplash

when i was little

i went to the aquarium with my dad

i remember walking through blue tanks of fishes

arrays of colours gliding through the water

my dad would lift me up to look at the jellyfish

and i would giggle at their wiggly legs

dancing in the deep abyss

i would gaze at all the seahorses

and smile at their little curly tails

the light would reflect the patterns of the sea onto my shoes

as i walked through the tunnel holding my dads hand

looking at the sharks floating above me

but my favourite room of all

was the open sting ray tank

gliding through the water

i would wonder what they felt like

but i was too small to reach

and the signs said ‘please do not touch the rays’

but my dad, my hero

would always put his hand in the water

and the rays would race over

and my dad would pet the rays

i beamed with delight every time i watched

and my dad would smile down at me and say “what wonderful creatures”

i still dream about what the rays would feel like

but more than anything

i remember the roughness of my dad’s big hand holding mine