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Yoruba Ode to My Father (Rachel Jackson-Lafayette, LA)


Father of children, students, and words
you are a coach in training.
You value beauty lost to the masses.
The masses value order you dismiss.
Son of the farmer, the seamstress, the fields
you chose the ladder of knowledge.
Yet you have labored to fill our bellies.
You carve stone to make bread.
The archive of facts held in your head
is too vast for even the bookshelves.
The tower of papers inside your household
rises to meet the rooftop.
You are a destroyer of neatness.
Maker of feasts that enlighten the palette
Drinker of liquors that confuse large horses.
Hider of bottles in expert locations.
You are a lover of sadness.
You are a fisher of songs.
To my childish eyes you bring understanding
of music and laughter and living.
But the hardships of life
have melted you down.
A wooden spoon now stirs you.
You are a curious soup.

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