I Wish I Could Have Said This Earlier, Dad…..

My Dad always wore a three piece suit, something which I could never understand. Even when summers were actually hot, he always had on his waistcoat and long sleeved shirts and never went out without his hat. He had a fantastic collection of hats,all more or less the same style with different feathers in the headband. And he loved wearing ties, all the colours of the rainbow.  He always called me a shorter version of my name, which sounded like ” Myrrh” I can’t remember him calling me by my full name, unlike my mum.

His cooking was distinctly different from mum’s and when he made soup, his dumplings were absolutely huge! I remember him coming home with bags of broken biscuits and fudge sweets,he always bought home something for us to have as treats. He loved cricket and would hog the television when test matches were being played and loved it when West Indies beat England. I remember one time when Mum was in Jamaica attending a funeral, that he made a mistake ( don’t ask me how) and bought a melon instead of pumpkin to make soup, his face was a picture and his language was far from sweet…

He was always at home after work, never went to the pub or bookies or dance but would insist on dragging us out most Sundays to visit relatives leaving close by. I think he was the only man I knew who didn’t drive and when I got my own car and used to cussing other drivers, he would sit in the front seat and hang on for dear life, but I couldn’t cuss with him there as he would be really shocked that I knew such words.  We would have long arguments that started out as gentle talks, getting louder and louder until mum told both of us to calm down. My parents were known throughout the area as when he Joined The Ancestors, mum said that she had been told at Lewisham Market that ‘ A tall man with a short wife had passed away’ There were so many family members in the same cemetery, that people said that they would all be having a party once us mourners had left. I miss our talks but I find that I am using some of his choice phrases when I see the price of food in supermarkets!

Although you may think I do not care

know that I care for you

Although you may think I do not love

know that I love you

I know that I have never sat

and reasoned long with you

please forgive me for my lack

of whatever feeling to you is due

I can only imagine what it was like

to come so far and leave

whatever happiness there was at home

that island in the Caribbean Sea

to seek new work, to find a future

as you and others had been told

to journey so great a distance

for this reality to come true to unfold

Waiting patiently and working so hard

feeling hatred from your fellow man

just because your skin was a different shade from them

Sticking it out, waiting in vain

As months drifted  into years

seeing your youth and your strength gradually disappear

being called an immigrant, an ethnic minority

coming from a land where you where in the majority

even though you were a law abiding citizen

of this so called humane society

I wish I could talk to you

tell you that I respect you

and that I am grateful for all that you have achieved

as I am proud to be continuing this line

of Jamaican Ancestry

I know that sometimes you did not approve

of the actions I have taken

but understand that at the time

I thought i could not be mistaken

and would have to pay in the future

for my youthful follies

This reasoning is for you

My Father

This love is from

A Thankful Daughter.

Thanks, Dad.

Imani c 2012

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