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Black Man Running

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It seems odd to me that, at this time of year when I am usually sad about and missing my mother, my father has been on my mind so much.  A lot of recent circumstances and conversations have focused my thoughts on him and who he was and how I became who I am because of him and, as you will soon learn about, the lack of him.

I wrote this piece about my father a while back.  I have never published it and have only allowed one person to read it before now…but it seems I am in a period of healing and prayerfully, renewal.  I guess it is time that I let go of some of the things that I have held onto so tightly for so long.  So, here it is.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was 5 AM.  Early morning early cold 5 AM and he had just finished his shift.

Gray workshirt and pants black workboots over full body thermals under dark work jacket against early morning early cold 5 AM cold.

Midwestern early cold wind cut across his head and face, so cold he pulled a dark wool cap from his dark work jacket pocket and against early morning early cold pulled it over his needing a haircut head and ears

     ahhh warm.

He walks tucks metal lunch bucket under his arm other hand casual waves

      See Ya 

with that you know upward nod to his boys and heads off to home.

Him, a husband now not so new anymore but still amazing after five years

that he goes home,

home that word so amazing that he has to say it twice sometimes

     I’m going home Man home to a wife so pretty and sweetmean

and his son just three and looking exactly like him

still sleeping now and his baby daughter tiny brown delicate smelling like a new baby daughter

powdery and made to be hugged

thinking about her made him smile and more warm so

he walked faster

faster to home

home where his pretty wife now awake and shuffling softly through the house,

their home,

would be rubbing sleep from her brown eyes and ironing her skirt for work

so she would be dressed and in the kitchen stirring soft scrambled eggs

glancing at two strips of bacon and hoping for enough butter for toast,

coffee in the old percolator that her mother gave them

said it made coffee good enough for his father in law while father in law

worked at the steel mill and now that son in law was on at the plant

he would need good black coffee too.

Thinking of his pretty wife moving her lovely hips back and forth in front of the stove timing his eggs so that the eggs would be hot soft scrambled the way he liked

just as he walked in the door not too cooled down or not yet ready so he would have to wait

made him move faster

he started a jog to get home faster

his home where his pretty wife would be warming a plate and cup for him

and son who looked just like him big headed and long brown legs

already the eyes of a son who knows his father works but plays with him too and

delicate baby daughter who needed lots of hugs.

The jogging became a run

a feeling good in the early morning early cold run that would get him home and

when he got home sooner because he ran,

she would pretend to be angry and it would make him smile while he ate his soft scrambled eggs that she would pout and

he would smack her lightly on the behind

Him only 27 and not spotless but now with a home with a pretty wife

a lookalike son and tiny new daughter

Oh he ran faster

on the early morning early cold sidewalk past the bus stop where he didn’t stop

because to catch the bus meant a quarter the he needed to save towards the car that

he wanted to buy so she didn’t have to catch the bus in the early morning early cold to get to work and

some of the fellows from the neighborhood on the way to the dayshift hollered

     Hey Man Where you going in such a hurry

but he only ran faster

running

     home Man home

running

If he got home in time he could watch her finish getting dressed

tucking her blouse in her skirt while he finished his toast and sipped his coffee

then help her bundle the children for the trip to her mother’s so he could sleep,

running past the barber shop and Best Place In Town for Ribs

     Black Man Running! Slow down Man! HaHaHa You running from the law?

Running

she would pretend to fuss over what to have for dinner running so he could tell her not to worry he would cook before his shift

running

and she would turn and smile at him in their house with his son who looked like him and knew daddy worked but played with him too and his delicate baby daughter who needed hugs

Running

Running home to the reason he worked lived breathed ran

running to home his pretty wife and looks just like me son and tiny new daughter who needed hugs

     Stop Police!

Running

he only heard the sound of his pretty wife saying to his son

     You can sleep a few more minutes until Daddy gets home

running

so he could wrap his son up warm in a blanket and his delicate baby girl for the trip to her mothers before she went to work

     Stop or I’ll shoot!

running

he heard a loud bang

running

he began to turn but the bullet spun him around

     No!

away from home

     BANG OHMYGOD BANG

     Home! I need to get home!

warmth spread over his chest and stomach but he wasn’t running anymore

     Did they just shoot that boy?

     Get in the house.  It aint our business.  Go now!

     Oh my God! The police just shot that boy lives down the way!

     Did you see that?

     Hey, why yall shoot that boy?  He wasn’t doing nothing.

His legs still wanted to move kicking a little now and again

     Home Man Home

to his pretty sweetmean wife and his lookalike son who would yell

     Wake Up Daddy Wake up!

at the funeral and his tiny delicate baby daughter who would not get his hugs

but would grow up to write about how he got killed

running

in the early morning early cold on the way home to his pretty wife who was making him soft scrambled eggs two slices of bacon hoping for enough butter for toast.

For My Father, William                                                                                                           (c) May 2, 2006

 

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About taviaz

I am a Diva, certainly. Complex, natural woman, writer, entreprenuer, cautious risk taker, therapist, social worker, nurturing mother, ride or die wife, loyal friend.

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