STAY IN TOUCH

My mom asked me to write a poem for father’s day and present it at her 1st annual Fathers Across Cultures gala. Her organizations’ aim is to bring recognition to fathers who are playing a role in their children’s lives and to nurture the potential fathers into a good role.

Dear Dad

Dear dad…
After writing these words I’ve stopped to ponder them… and still am
With so many things to say… words fail me
This ain’t no ‘you failed me daddy where you been poem’… nor is it a ‘you walked out and left me ode to the fact that mommy hates your guts and you aint sent me shit since where’s my money poem’…
No
I’m grown…
And with my growth I’ve sown seeds of thought on this very issue…
My issue is that there are just so many…
Dear Dad…
It’s been a year now 15 months less a day to be exact that my seed has sprouted…
15 months less a day and now that sapling is almost a toddler…
I’m a father in a society where responsibility is responsibility and now to raise a child is mine…
I’m a man now…
And if I wasn’t before this will ensure that from this day forth my worth will be determined by how he grows… how he learns… how he earns the right to be called a champion…
He’s a young prince now…
But how man becomes King is an eternal internal blessing passed from King to kin…
Dear Dad…
Echoing words but a few years ago I wasn’t even able to write them…
I had words but despite them… I often wonder what life would be like if you were around…
If mommy didn’t have to play daddy and if you taught me the meaning of what it is to be a man…
So I’ve had to learn from the streets… learn from the boys next door who ain’t had a father of their own…
So we ensured that we never missed 1 episode of the Cosby Show…
I mean… I’m no different…
Grown up on a street corner where craps was the name of the game… ghetto corners where crap was the lives we played… and with only one income scrap was what we were fed all day…
I give praises to mom… for baloney sandwiches less the grey poupon… for whopping my ass whether I was right or wrong cause sometimes she had to show me who was the man…
I Overstand now…
Now that I’m years older… year’s wiser…
I’m wiser…
Back then I thought you were some chump who didn’t care about your Self much less me…
But now with my maturity I see clearer…
You sir… were and are a victim…
A victim of circumstance… never given a fair chance…
A man who he himself didn’t even know what that meant…
Cause I figured it out…your pops… he too was absent… and his was absent and his…
Dear dad…
In your absence I wont dwell on a sob story because his-story spells it clearly… either learn from your past or prepare to face it in your future…
And presently I ain’t mad at you…
I have nothing but Love for you…
I empathize for and with you…
I realize that you and I are no different…
Souls searching for meaning… Overstanding… for a better stand in this unforgiving world…
gods trying to be humans loosing the essence of life in the midst…
So this…
This is not a ‘daddy you’re an asshole poem’… or… ‘my dad I never known him poem’…
this poem is an ode to my father poem… because as I stand here today I too am that man…
Searching to Overstand who what when and where I stand why I stand here I stand…
Because now I stand for 15 months of life…
And not just his but all the countless lives on corner streets who feel that they too were just like me…
Missing
But life has found me… and in it I have found you…
In my heart… in my soul… in 15 months of life…
I Overstand now…
It’s not your fault…
You were just trying to be who a society taught you to be but sadly it never taught you to be who you are…
Eternal
So now after years of deliberation I can finally write these words…
“Dear dad…
I’m a father now…
Just like you!”

Copyright © by Al St. Louis, June 2010

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Al St. Louis :: actor | poet | spoken word artist | motivational educator
"The Time To Act Is Now."