Sunday Poem


“Wait a minute. What did you just say? You’re predicting $4-a-gallon gas?
… That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that.”
–the President of the United States, Washington, D.C., Feb. 28, 2008

After Su Tung P’o
Heather McHugh

On The Birth of a Son

When a child is born, the parents say

they hope it’s healthy and intelligent. But as for me—


well, vigor and intelligence have wrecked my life. I pray

this baby we are seeing walloped, wiped and winningly anointed,


turns out dumb as oakum—and more sinister.

That way he can crown a tranquil life by being appointed

a cabinet minister.