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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sometimes I Feel Like a Fatherless Child


Da,

Can you understand how
I roam alone now
In this urban
Wasteland,
Fatherless...
Like so many other
Direction-less trash-
Can boys?

In the uneasy noise of
My thoughts,
I sometimes feel as if
I am one of them,
Caught inside this
Whirlpool, this vast
Complexity of
Who I am
And how to be
A man...
How to cope
And how to make
This world
Take note of me.

Strange,
The older I get
The more this
Child in me
Longs for
A bit more
Understanding. You

Were there
For me. You were
Not some habitual
Absentee or
Sperm donor cat...
But a dad,
Even in that distant
Strain of
Silence
Caught between

Machismo

And ignorance... Not fully knowing
What a father should be...
Could be. Would be.

Curly gray afro,
A waft of cigar smoke and
A knitted brow that spoke
A thousand utterances...
This was what I knew most
Of you. I wished

You were more poet than
Provider... more the
Father confessor
Than insular figure,
More articulate
More generous with the wealth
Of your
Emotions. But
I've had to make do
With who and what
You were.

I am no longer
Seeking your
Approval nor
Your validation. I am no longer
Broken nor cut by
The blade of your silences.
I am no longer
An awkward slave to
Your curious nature.

I just sometimes miss
This touch-memory of
You embracing me.

No. No holiday
Will ever bring
That back...no greeting
Card reanimates
What I've lost
Or what I lack... yet I am
Forever the son
Of a proud Virginia
Black man. The son

Who won the lottery...

A winning ticket of
Priceless lessons and
A treasure trove of memories
This fatherless child
Must now depend upon to
Sustain me.

Happy Father's Day, Da.

From your son, Lin

One.

1 comment:

E. Bailey said...

This is a powerful poem.
Beautifully written.