For Boys Like Me Who Have No Father by John Chizoba Vincent
“I know how much it hurts and how much it feels to live in this world without a father but in the merciful hand of a single brave woman who stands a mother to break herself, arrange herself and disguised herself so that you can live. Yes! I know how the pains run straight into the vein to torment you daily.
I know how it feels wearing the same shoes with you but I have dusted and dried my tears many years ago. I just have to live and leave the scars that fatherliness has printed in me. We may bark from the ocean of sadness to ocean of sorrow trying to hide ourselves into the album of disgrace and shame. We may leave our glory to be downcasted by the thought of how to make it in life but, have it in mind that the same heat that drives home confusion is the same heat that cooks the food we eat.
I have watched the glory of boys trampled upon by strangers. I have watched boys torn into pieces by shackles of shabby depression trying to find meaning to live without a father. I have known boys whose names are spelt backward in compatibility and issues of their life kissed daily by bumps of tears. I have known boys written off because no father to stand and fight for them and their mother, could not stand up for them.
Dear boys, I am not always satisfied whenever I sit alone to sing this dirge written with a tattered note. I am not always satisfied whenever I get a cup of water and discovered I have some boys faces shown on the surface. Boys crying. Boys weeping. Boys lost. Broken boys. Boys lost listening to the stories society told them. I have seen boys known as touts because they decided to take up their dreams without looking after the wealth their father left behind when he was alive.
Sincerely, every stone can not stand the speed of the wind. Every dust is a prey to the wind. My window is opened to the breeze when the ruminate of my life last longer on the flow of my mind. When the song of my father was sang, when his name became history. I fought myself because I could not imagine living a world where I will no long see a shoulder to lean on. I took the drummers of the lost temples to the river bank. We sat hopelessly singing a note or rather lyrics of song unknown to us. I was told that his spirit visited us that day. They said he sat among our whistle crying. My mother told the sand how precious my father’s body was. She told the termites not to go close because his body was her temple when he was alive. The group of singers that gathered with me in the river bank accounted my broken lips into a tone higher than their voices. We were covering our mouth, our legs, our hands and; our tears. We could not allow it to show because showing our weaknesses could make the stream scream in fear. We matched on after rendering our way into the hearts of those before us that watched us from beyond. Boys, I may not be a good story teller to say this the way it was. I may forget to tell you that we were lost in ourselves because the iroko that shielded us from rain has fallen and the rain would drench us when it comes. We became Kunta Kinte. We became loosed into the intimacy of forgetfulness. We became sour patches of a long wasted time. We became catholic of popes accused of rape. Because we were mourning.
When the wind seems so violent, rest your heart on the surface of the sea. Return to the sea and hold the rivers thereof together. We built yesterday in the illusion of freewill. We built yesterday in the mirror of mirage looking for a way we can be part of another home. Having a father that gather our brokenness into the firm of fine lines of arts. Come back to the dancers in the midst of fighters between your mind and heart. Attack your fallacies into verses without version in the arms of deadly men. Be stronger than yesterday when your broken tears brought home chaos. I will not leave you today and tomorrow.
Fading my mind into a journey of Moses in the midst of the Israelites, I will always be willing to keep you abreast of the reason why we must belch out our prayers and pleasure them to our God. Cover your honesty and fears and wisdom together between your teeth and aspirations. I will always write to you boys a poetry of rhythms, a poetry of two lovers. A poetry of dreams. I was clothed with the mind of Shakespeare before the world became dust. Help each other honestly till we meet again. I won’t leave you alone till the end of the world. I will continue to admonish you in good faith and love as I also urge you to make each your friend. In my word you would have satisfaction and in the word of the world, you would get lost in confusion. I will always be there when you need a shoulder to lean on.”
John Chizoba Vincent is a cinematographer, filmmaker, music video director, poet and a writer. A graduate of Mass Communication, he believes in life and the substances that life is made of.
He has three books published to his credit which includes Hard Times, Good Mama, Letter from Home. For Boys of Tomorrow is his first offering to poetry. He lives in Lagos.