Thursday, August 5, 2021

Dreams of My Father by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers


Dreams of My Father

Or a man who looks like him.
I only know I call him Daddy
(as all southern women
do until the day we die).
In my dreams he is still alive
and this is not a comfort.
I am my best when tragic.
Grief becomes me.
Daddy is more real in death,
eyes dark, undimmed
by the grave, smile less sincere.
Matter clings to his thick
eyebrows, his mouth spits mud
when he tries to talk. He is candid.
He tells me he liked my sisters better than me.
Most times I search for him in a crowd
of counterfeit Daddies.
I look for pieces of him.
An elbow. Black hair on the back
of a pale neck. If I find him,
I will say, Is that you?
I know you this time.

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