I do not wish to take your mother's place,
And yet my pride and pleasure are no less.
You may not be the daughter of my flesh,
But you are still the daughter of my heart.
I know my very presence in your life
Can't help but to remind you of the pain
And anger of your parents' separation.
And yet my only purpose here is love.
Stepmothers and stepdaughters are a pair
Created both by joy and by disaster.
We did not choose each other, but were chosen
By love and by the anguish of love's end.
But we can choose to love each other well,
Accepting fortune's gift with unfeigned grace.
Know as you step forth this graduation:
You have my love as long as I have life.
Copyright by Nicholas Gordon