By Shann Ray Shann Ray
My four-year-old daughter handed me a card.
To Daddy written on the front
and inside a rough field
of  five-pointed lights, and the words
You’re my favorite Daddy in the stars.

In this western night we all light the sky
like Vega, Deneb, Altair, Albireo,
the Summer Triangle,
Cygnus the Swan, our hair
tangled with wood and gravel,
our eyes like vacant docks
that beckon every boat.

Tell me about the word
stars, I said.

Oh, she said. Sorry.
I didn’t know
how to spell world.

Source: Poetry (January 2013).


This poem originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2013
 Shann  Ray


Shann Ray's Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011) is a work of creative nonfiction political theory. His short story collection is American Masculine (Graywolf Press, 2011).

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Poems by Shann Ray

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Youth, Nature, Stars, Planets, Heavens

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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