I make a pact with you, Walt Whitman --
I have detested you long enough.
I come to you as a grown child
who has had a pig-headed father;
I am old enough now to make friends.
It was you that broke the new wood
now is a time for carving.
We have one sap and one root --
let there be commerce between us.
This is a very old poem; I penned it more than 15 years ago. I was tempted to neaten it up, to apply the style I've developed in those intervening years (repair those enjambments!), but I don't think that would be true to the memory of my father on his birthday. This is something we had. It was uniquely ours. It served us well at that time, and I choose to remember it today as it was, to remember the sap and root we shared, the (quite literal) commerce between us.
Sorry, this poem has been deleted.....
There will be time for carving soon enough. Happy Birthday, Dad.