I have survived the dental work though I did take an afternoon nap. It felt right. Here's a poem by Ann Lauinger for all the daddies who have not returned from Iraq. I think now of a friend of mine whose daddy did not return from Korea. Prayers for so much pain.
What Feathers Are For
I don't want to be a daddy because daddies die.
—Jack Shanaberger, age 4, to his mother after his father was killed in Iraq.
That racket's a baby woodpecker, plump and soft as a gland.
It's tinier mother—a clockworks toy—drills for bugs
upside down, and swivels to stuff
her squawking fledgling's craw.
It's June: baby crows refuse to grow up.
Half-hopping, half flapping oversized infants,
they won't trust wings and pretend to forget how to fly
in clumsy pursuit of one more free meal.
Even eaglets, born to be lords of the air, plummet
as much as they soar. In the absence of instinct,
heir learning curve is a precipice, sheer trial
and mortal error teaching them what their feathers are for.
When baby Astyanax howled the truth on a tower in Troy,
shining Hector put off the bronze helmet.
Godlike, he laid the terrible plumes in the dirt.
Yes, he said. And, mortal, kissed his mortal boy.
Ann Lauinger from The National Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily October 21, 2006.