My Father’s Son
I became my father’s son
not borne from him,
but from my mother’s womb.
My older brother was his favorite,
from the same mold they were made.
He was distant from me
and absent from us all.
I hid from him in solitude,
my mother in her Black woman’s pride.
I was too young to understand
when my parents divorced
but I promised then, to someone…
I would stay married forever.
In God’s house I vowed in witness
“Until death us do part.”
When the day came for that promise
to God and my wife to be broken,
my father sat in his favorite chair,
a beer in his right hand, a cigarette in his left
looking straight ahead or maybe back into his life
and for the first time I saw my father weep.
On that day, when I had done what he had done,
I became my father’s son and understood
the price he paid for freedom.