FATHERS’ DAY WITHOUT A FATHER

 

It’s been six years so we pretend
none of this matters
That this day is just another day
we have to live through
like all other days
Only the emptiness is still heavy
and still loud
Even after all this time.

We don’t talk about it.
We sit at the table for breakfast
and I can tell we are thinking the same thing
There’s a lump in everyone’s throat but mine
I have a burial service going on down my neck
and I still cannot choose the best way to read
my tribute
I mean, do I cry? Make my pain visible,
hold a message on my face that reads:
“Grieving and losing hope”
I mean, do I make it real? Say what I want to say-
without the dressing, without the mask
I have nothing to lose for my honesty but perhaps,
a funeral isn’t the place for truth or dare
Some times people say the opposite of what
they mean and today might just be one of those days
I clear my throat as I speak:
My father was a strong man
(but there were days he would lean on the bath sink
and tell me about depression/ how it has hands/
and how it chokes)
My father loved the Lord
(but there were days he hit the Bible against the wall
and wouldn’t talk to God)
My father was a good man
(but there were days his anger broke him and
he shattered our hearts)

It’s been six years so we pretend
none of this matters
That this day is just another day
we have to live through
like all other days.
Only the truth is still heavy
and still loud
Even after all this time.

 
 

Tryphena Yeboah recently completed a Masters program in Development Communication at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. She is currently working as a Creative Writing Teaching Assistant.

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