Saturday, August 08, 2009

A Father's Story

(A poem by a father for a future father; Arinze Azuonye, & all fathers on Father's Day 2009)

There was a time I only imagined it;
to be the broad-chested father
of a bunch of kids in good working order,
big man about house, building a squad
of God-fearing kids, giving orders,
a stern but affectionate scolding here,
a frightening, yet warm stare there,
talking volumes and instructing across
the room with a slight shake of head.
Imagining this wonder filled me with hunger
for a lifetime of teaching, a lifetime
of learning from the seeds of my own loins.

Sometimes a brooding dream would fruit,
as it did on that blazing Summer morning;
The Almighty snapped his fingers,
He snapped me out of my dream-trek.
He made my wife and I step out of time.
The music had begun! and I, long-gifted
with two left feet, was eager to dance,
and indeed I danced in the air.

Two years and counting, I say with great cheer,
any man for whom God has made it possible
let him join me on the glorious dancefloor
of fatherhood - this is where I lose myself,
this is where I savour wondrous perks:

Relentless crescendo of deafening wailing at dawn
ripping apart delicious sleep and dreams.

The slashes warm on my face that then wet my shirt,
and heavenly scents of soft golden relief on my shoes.

That purely manipulative cry for attention
at moments I must take important phone calls.

Helplessness when my little scientists make
submarine of my cellphone in a cup of water.

The bliss of my children converting me
into a living Super King Size bed.

They turn my belly into a trampoline
and my legs are their playground slides.

Best of all is when they smile as God must smile
and hug me so tight I cannot breathe.

O, I love this dance. I love this dance,
and I dance it once, twice, I glorify God.

- Nnorom Azuonye

"A Father's Story" was first read in public at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Dartford, on Father's Day 2009.

Copyright 2009 Nnorom Azuonye.

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