Poetry

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

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