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For Dad:

 

A college experiment on rockets and

solid fuel. With

carbon and sulfur

and amonium

perchlorate that

should have been

potassium nitrate

in a combustion chamber

 

that exploded into

 

fear, pain and loss, as

his hands became

birds fluttering

forlornly to the earth.

 

Brothers and friends,

and a wife who

would love him

without pity, and

teach him to

use his wits with

eggs and greased doorknobs.

 

A new hand, made with bands

and cables, straps and sockets,

levers, liners, and a hook.

 

and people ask me what

itís like to have a father with

steel for flesh

 

They think that hands and fingers,

nerves and blood are the only

way your dad can touch you.

 

but a hook is

the best for swinging

on, playing tricks,

turning logs, pounding

nails, Halloween

and chasing away nightmares

 

And a thumb...

a thumb can

caress a babyís

cheek just as

well as a whole hand

- amy luise dent -

Fall 1995

 

 

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