The Nation as Father Serving Crispy Chicken to his Children

It is a father's act of sacrifice.

It is a poem now, this tale

Of loving without end.

The setting: an innocent place

Between hope and one despair.

He gathers cold courage and prayer

In garbage cans, grace from refuse,

And on that morning he picks the find.

Whole chicken for a meal of a kind,

Whole chicken to erase that pang,

Whole chicken to fry with laughters,

Surprise, surprise for a tardy dinner.

He gives all, the crisp skin,

The blessing before the meal,

The joy of fathering

In that calm evening.

Tomorrow is another, he says,

The luck will not be the same.

Eat all, he tells, finish the topping,

Reserve the gravy for dreaming.

Before dawn he chants

The dark song for two,

Recites to the nation

A father's litany of woe,

Recounts the tale

Of that late meal,

A tardy last supper,

Two children's dinner.

Aurelio S. Agcaoili

Torrance, CA, USA

Nov. 10, 2004

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