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Published On: Mon, Aug 22nd, 2016

A poem for fallen fathers

Poet Batsirai Chigama wrote this for Fathers’ Day 2016. She writes of a father she loved and admired, but who, somewhere along the line, fell from grace…

By Batsirayi Chigama

For our Fallen Fathers

I used to be in awe of you dad
When you took to the podium
With your eloquence dazzle millions into belief and conversion
How your single stride was a gallop
I used to boast you know
Beat myself on the chest
Tell them you were my dad
Together we gathered as family sipping
in your dripping wisdom
What happened dad
You started running your mouth
Now most of us are scattered in lands unwelcoming and hostile
It was brother Joe who was first
Packed his bags in the night
We never saw him ever again
His friends say he was swallowed by the crocs of the Limpopo
Then sis Venencia, then Simba
Then Kurauone
I recently returned from Kuwait
From your billions you could not
Spare an air ticket to rescue me
I crawled back home an amputee
All limbs left in that strange place
You cannot look me in the eye
Are you disgusted
Are you ashamed of me or
the circumstance that chased me away
Your nest breezes emptiness
There is a silence here
Can you hear it
It sits thick on our tongues
Brewing a storm
We do not gather and clap for your eloquence anymore
Now just rhetoric bruising our ears
Dad, its hard to call you that these days
You have wounded us
Thrown us to the lions
Left us to fight while you watch arms folded
There is no bread in the house today
We have not had bread for years dad
There is hungry laughter here
Like a tennis ball ricochets
and slams in between our hopeful hands growing from exhaustion
We hold nothing
This house has turned into a stranger
It’s eyes watches us with suspicion
Asking question we have no answers for
Dad, this is supposed to be your day
We would have cooked up a storm
But here, take this bitterness
It is all we can serve you.

Check out Batsi’s Mothers Day poem and some of her other work on her website.