Somehow my daughter Jen had become
the center of my moral life
At 15 she passed on no worries of her own
and I took that to be open to my own

When the new department chair observed my class
he wrote that I left my lab sinks filthy
Of course, I thought after a lab, of course
My hate knew no bounds and the next day

as he passed me in the hall
I stopped him and said
You know you wear your
snake on your sleeve

That day I couldn’t get home fast enough
Supper, some TV, then bedtime and tuck-in for Jen
so before the kiss goodnight I opened and read from
the Bible – the Sermon on the Mount

of the meek shall inherit the earth
of the turning the other cheek
when I finished where did
my tears come from?

Maybe Jen was the little Jesus
who lived in this quiet place
For she listened without a word
I do not know

But my daughter’s room
my daughter’s listen
offered a refuge
a blessing