Hello, my baby girl
How are you today?
I remember the day you were born
Wow what a magnificent day!!!
Even though you were two months early
It seemed almost too long
I love you so much
Don’t forget on that day and everyday
You’re always worth the wait!!!
I was one of the first to hold you
The first to feed you
To bathe you
And even change you😎
On that day I changed so much
I never knew I could love one so little
One so little but love so much!!!
I hope you know daddy loves you
Loves you so much
I was one of the first people
First people in your life.
Just know you are the person
The only person
I place first in my life!!!
Baby girl, baby girl
I am SO proud of you
I can’t wait
Can’t wait
Every time I see YOU!!!
Today (October 31st) is my daughter Kathryn’s 7th birthday. Today like the last 3 previous birthdays I am unable to celebrate with her due to an ongoing custody battle. This custody battle has resulted in my daughter not being allowed to see me in about two and a half years. I am unable to call her, or send letters to her (even though I write her letters every week that are stored in an overflowing file cabinet containing them). 
Tomorrow, November 1st marks the beginning of Family Court Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to shedding light and calling for change in the family court system. I like so many, many, many single parents (and their children) have fallen prey to such a corrupt and unjust system.
I originally wrote this poem two years ago as a dedication to my daughter and the continued fight to have her be able to see her father. It was very shocking to me that a person that is a stable, well respected member of his community, and has helped children from all over in his profession could be withheld from seeing his own daughter. 
The now sad fact is that if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. As a matter of these types of travesties of justice are happening to almost everyone stuck in this system. This is no longer just about Kathryn and her DADA, but about the 100s of thousands of families stuck in this hell. 
I know above all else that when light is shed in darkness, that the light ALWAYS overcomes such darkness. So today October 31st, 2020 let it be the first glimmer of hope we see in this darkness.
Thanks again for this opportunity!
John Burt
John Burt (Modesto, California)