“Everything Is Ready; I Will Call Dad”

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    Usually he is called in from somewhere,
    but tonight
    I pause by his sleeping face,
    pondering the strong features
    gently disassembled in their fatigue.
    His work
    goes beyond cool morning fragrances
    into hum of heat and rinses of cold,
    and I know that in the black of last night
    he was up healing those who would call wrong right.
    Even in sleep this giant earthly father
    breathes strength and strict devotion.
    I choke with emotion and hoarsely spill forth my message.
    He stirs.
    Reality places itself between his eyes, and
    duty moves his body. Our reaching hands
    clasp tight in love. He laughs as young as I am.
    We lead each other to the kneeling family circle.
    Whatever despair he knows
    is caged in discipline. After
    a comfortable relationship with silence,
    he begins the prayer.