To My Father

by Ernest Armah

I don’t know what to say

About all that I’ve gained

From you

You bloomed my life into a beautiful one

Your hands, rough and coarse

Has always been in the soil for my sake

You mulched the little seed in me

And how often I thought you sat on the upper staircase of Maslow

So fulfilled

You grew the best in me

I never knew you hurt and blue

How could I have?

For you always showed me what you can do

And I believed you can do everything

You were more of a friend and a brother than a father

And you’ve always insisted that I be a man, not a boy

Though the world is small

You showed me that life can be big

You took me to many wonderful places

To deep forests where wild, frightening-looking species abound

I swam in rivers of myriad waves

I saw different colors of people

Above all

You taught me that the only tolerable excuse for life is death

And life without responsibility is worse than death

The millions of days that I’ve known you

Nothing has changed

Except to know you aren’t perfect

Yet you always strive for excellence

Your life speaks of a grit that paid more than talent

Your spirit is repository of nobility other than privilege

I’m honored and proud

To be a chip off your block