Flat on my back in switchgrass, I sang ‘O Give Me a Home’ to the thousand-mile wind. Sometimes when I sang I even loved my father. Felt how his braced leg failed him on any grassy slope. Saw his withered right ankle, pale upon the good one, as he scooted along the floor to the bathroom—“out of my way!”—his privacy lost to desperation and loose BVDs. I sang of the sweet land where fathers died for liberty, and I loved him.
I loved my mother as I sang of that swan like a maid in a heavenly dream. Sang our Kansas anthem and floated with her, calm and protected. Forgot my ugly duckliness, and I loved her.