To My Father

He calls me ten times a day just to make
sure that I am still alive and sometimes
when he has to leave for days at a time
he doesn’t call at all because he’s
filled with guilt at the fact that he’s
not near me. And when he cannot sleep
he’ll ask me to rub his back because
      ‘your hands always put me to sleep
  it’s like you’ve got magic in your fingers’
but all the magic I’ve ever known has
come from his hands, and this
man is as soft as silk but he’s always
been the strongest man I know and his
heart’s so full of goodness I wonder
how his human body can fathom it so
most days, I don’t even think he’s
human; just kindness. Just beauty.
He charges me kisses for money and
says he forgets his own name if I’m
not around him, says ‘how can I
remember anything if you’re not here’
so he’s always here making jokes
and laughing like he hasn’t got
the weight of the world on his back
and when the sickness pushes against
his chest; he is God’s exaggeration,
he is a super hero dressed in my
baba’s suit, all strength and
determination and no hint of submission
and I know his heart of gold gets heavy
sometimes and I know he’s tired but he
tells me that he loves me even though
he was raised to never say it out loud
so I’ll call him a rebel
and tell him it’s genetic and that’s
why I get into trouble sometimes but
even when I do, he says I make him
proud and no one’s got it as good as he.
And I am teaching him to linger when he
hugs me and he is teaching me to be
patient and kind and giving and he’s always
giving without asking for anything
back and so I love him with every
word that falls off my tongue
and I love him with all the kisses
I lay on his forehead before I go
to sleep.

They tell me that heaven lies
under my mother’s feet but I find it
resting quietly also in his
heart.

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3 thoughts on “To My Father

  1. So beautiful! i loved every word of this, I think it would be hard to pick out a sentence or a phrase and say I liked it the most. Every word is so heartfelt it just rises out and touches the heart of even a stranger and finds similar echoes. You are very talented, but I think what lies at the very foundation of your talent is your total integrity to say it like it is and to express your deepest feelings with total honesty.

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