DAD POEM

Joshua Bennett

Your doula’s name is Perpetual,
which is an especially elegant word
that means some things are so good they go on
long past the might of our mortal eyes.
Our affection for you is perpetual.
Our attention, for you, is perpetual.
The modern world is not perpetual, and neither
is the earth, though my sense is the latter
will last much longer. Another word
for perpetual is everlasting, & that’s one
your grandparents love, as it was ubiquitous
in hymns we sang when I was barely big enough
to lift the red leather books which held our psalms
on my own. When I could not manage believing
anymore, I read a man named Meister Eckhart. He once
wrote, Every animal is a book about God, or something
to that effect. The scale of such love was a revelation.
Ubiquitous is an unwieldy word. It means everywhere.
You are a palace of books about God.
My love for you is ubiquitous. It shines in the eyes
of trees outside our kitchen window,
beetles giving color to the front yard,
every single brick in the room of your life
we are building, even now, as we dream.

Joshua Bennett is a professor of English at Dartmouth. He is the author of four books of poetry and criticism: The Sobbing School, Being Property Once Myself, Owed, and The Study of Human Life.
Originally published:
September 20, 2021

Featured

Community

Finding company on and off the page
Carl Phillips

Conversations

Emily Ogden and Dana Spiotta

Reckoning with middle age and complicity
Emily Ogden
and
Dana Spiotta

The Stakes of Dictee

An introduction to a famously difficult work
Ken Chen

You Might Also Like


Widowing

Prageeta Sharma

The Long Run

Linda Gregerson

Subscribe

Help keep print culture alive. For a limited time, enjoy 10% off two- and three-year subscriptions.
Subscribe