Having a child changes you. For example, A salmon's face extends forward, a giant underbite Emerging, and then there's the matter Hanging off their sides. I am proud to be An American. Also, I'm proud to be a Protestant, And wasn't whiteness a smart choice. When people complain to me about Spielberg's manipulative And frequent cutaways to children in danger— People being me—I remind them that sarcasm (Which does so well in the funnies) plays on television As arrogance. The point is to put a big-ass Unavoidable conflict, the kind metaphors with tools Such as hammer, wrench, or fire in them are usually used To illustrate how they turn us into material, Materiel, to put this conflict in front of an audience And present them with options. Suddenly I was able To notice that what attracted me most was to know When I actually needed to take care of someone.
Previously published in The American Poetry Review. Copyright © 2010 by Jordan Davis. Used with permission of the author.