Like Father Like Son


He came 

from a village

Of wildflower death valleys

Suffocating in silence

And watered down by harsh truths


Sunday dinners 

When he swallowed his tears like pounded yam

And his mother's bitter-leaf soup

Left an aftertaste of fear


He is a graveyard 

of unspoken grievances 

Carrying the death wish

Of wives 

Who bit their tongues 

To keep up appearances 


If you look closely 

You will see the tears of his great grandmother 

In the eyes of his frightened son 


History does not go away 

It repeats itself 

At 2:47am 

As his confused son

Wonders when he will be strong enough 

To kill his father 

And swears  

Never to touch his wife 

With a force harder  

than a soft caress of her cheek


Photo credit: Julie Blackmon