Pop, Dad, Father, Old Man.
I’ve been the twinkle in his eye,
The light in his world,
And the pain in his side.
Hanging onto his coattails, his shirt tails,
Or his long extended hand,
A hand that has raised me up and supported me high,
And has slapped me down.
I remember the ball games we played,
The fishing trips we took,
And the laughed that we’ve had.
I remember our bitter disagreements,
The brutal misunderstandings,
The, “Because I am your FATHER!”
I remember our fight.
I remember our years of silence.
I remember our hopes, our wishes, our dreams for so many things.
I know we both had our issues.
Me, a boy struggling to become a man.
You, a Father struggling to raise his son.
It was only later that I truly saw your strength.
It was only later that I truly saw your wisdom.
It was only later that I truly saw your love.
I’ve had an interesting journey getting me to where I am today.
Discovering, even rediscovering, the seeds of knowledge planted by you.
And as I’ve watered those seeds, and eaten their many fruits,
One irrefutable fact remains true:
The more I understand of me,
The more I understand of you.
Proud, thoughtful, intelligent Black Man.
Your wisdom, your patience, your compassion for others,
Your stubbornness, your impatience, your occasional obstinacy to change,
The positives and the negatives,
The bad and the good,
I embrace it all.
I have to,
Because it’s all in me, too.
I am a man.
I AM a man.
I am a MAN.
Because of you.