Flat on my back in switchgrass, I sing ‘O Give Me a Home’ to the thousand-mile wind. Sometimes when I sing I even love my father. Feel how his braced leg failed him on any grassy slope. See his withered right ankle, pale upon the good one, as he scoots along the floor to the bathroom—“out of my way!”—his privacy lost to desperation and loose BVDs. Forget his heavy hand and sing of the sweet land where fathers die, for liberty, and I love him.
I love my mother as I sing of that swan like a maid in a heavenly dream. Sing our Kansas anthem and float with her, untouched, calm and protected. Forget my ugly duckliness, her sideways look, and I love her.