the rest of my father (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)

the rest of my father

there deep in the child soft smile
of his thin dark lips
“tipping his hat to Miss Ann
and Sister Emma too”
was a creek of still water
and blood running red
in a short little man
shuffled back in the rear
and left limping there alone
humming “NEARRRRUH MY !LOR’R’ORD! to Theeee”
wondering just what he done wrong

he was always there by himself
when any somebody came by
to get what he had for’em free
and stand next to’im looking down
tryin to feel sump’n better ’bout theyself
and they never heard a word that he said

there deep in the child soft smile
of his thin dark lips
“tipping his hat to Miss Ann
and Sister Emma too”
was a creek of still water
and blood running red
in a short little man
shuffled back in the rear
and left limping there alone
humming “NEARRRRUH MY !LOR’R’ORD! to Theeee”
wondering just what he done wrong

everybody in the town there knowd him
and they called him Mr. Walduh by’is name
they wuz always jokin and rubbin on’is head
but they wuz talking with my mama in his stead
and they never heard a word that he said

there deep in the child soft smile
of his thin dark lips
“tipping his hat to Miss Ann
and Sister Emma too”
was a creek of still water
and blood running red
in a short little man
shuffled back in the rear
and left limping there alone
humming “NEARRRRUH MY !LOR’R’ORD! to Theeee”
wondering just what he done wrong

every Sunday sitting there in the amen corner
where all the holy men go
to show how they praying !HAH!
and how dey marching on into the kingdom come
but his turn in the corner never came
so they kept on passing on by
and they never heard a word that he said

there deep in the child soft smile
of his thin dark lips
“tipping his hat to Miss Ann
and Sister Emma too”
was a creek of still water
and blood running red
in a short little man
shuffled back in the rear
and left limping there alone
humming “NEARRRRUH MY !LOR’R’ORD! to Theeee”
wondering just what he done wrong

the preacher he stood there humming
’cause he just didn’t know what to say
so I stood up there and said what I said
to the few people there looking on
’bout the man laying there in the ground
but nobody cried not even the eyes
and when the ashes had gone to ashes
and the dust had done’n’done the same
everybody when they got up n left
had already done forgot his name
’cause they never heard a word that he said

there deep in the child soft smile
of his thin dark lips
“tipping his hat to Miss Ann
and Sister Emma too”
was a creek of still water
and blood running red
in a short little man
shuffled back in the rear
and left limping there alone
humming “NEARRRUH MY !LOR’R’ORD! to Theeee”
wondering just what he done wrong

Copyright © 1993 Asili Ya Nadhiri

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