Flat on my back in switchgrass, I sing ‘O Give Me a Home’ to the thousand-mile wind. Sometimes when I sing I even love my father. I feel how his braced leg fails him on any grassy slope. I see his withered right ankle, pale upon the good one, as he scoots along the floor to the bathroom—“out of my way!”—his privacy lost to loose BVDs and desperation. I sing of the sweet land where fathers died for liberty, and I love him.
I love my mother when I sing of that swan like a maid in a heavenly dream. I sing our Kansas anthem and in those few lines I float with her, calm and protected. I forget my ugly duckliness, and I love her.