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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