For Titus

For Titus: I was da, when the milk teeth first broke ivory white through new pink and grew fast from the floor up.

I was da, a single syllable like mild, like love, like peace.

I was da-da, when the uppers came screaming through mouth's roof, when you learned of night terrors and sickness.

I was da-da the complex, the healer, the big-armed hero.

Today I am dad, a one syllable wonder yet again, delta-alpha-delta, the difference, the beginning, always the difference.

I am dad, and in that there is sorrow and hope. Sorrow that by language I have evolved beyond single syllables, and hope that I might always be the difference, yes--the beginning of all difference.