A poet writes and reads
Her life with her father
And then he lifts away
To stars he once made fall for her.

My father jumps up:
“I’m a red-blooded American youth!”
He blows up his right bicep—a hard white ball—
And sleeps after lunch on the kitchen floor’s linoleum speckles.

He tells his saber-toothed tiger tale
And shows me the Red Sea after the waters parted
But before the Israelites crossed.
I am laughing at how he makes me laugh.

I smell his young damp farmer smell,
And the warm woods scent of the dry old man.
I feel his smart hands
Soothe my growing-pained shins.

He reaches up a green cornstalk and pulls a young ear,
Hands it to me, shucks peeled down,
Surprised when I lean back from such sweetness:
“Why honey, everything’s better straight from the plant.”

He sits in his chair at the table; I sit in mine.
“Show me where you want me to put your lima beans.”
Mother says, “Do you like these mushrooms from the Bijey field?”
“Sweetyface, anything’s good if you cook it in browned butter.”