THE DANCE WITH MY FATHER

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Let’s communicate through pen and paper

Because we can no longer feel each other’s touch

I quite remember that one moment

When you stretched your arms towards me, smiled and asked me to have a feel of your palms.

I gladly lay my palms on yours and brushed them together, let out a gasp, then smiled back.

The softness of your palms had been erased by the beautiful works of your hands

I was awed by the pride that shown through your eyes

You were proud of the beauty your rugged and scabby palms had resulted to

And at that moment, I got to understand how much you valued positivity

You raised my bubbles and created a bomb that will forever last in my soul

You led me on, just a couple of days before your sunset,

Held my hand and showed me how to get rid of my fears

Your last lesson to me was one where you taught me how to let go of a faint heart and release sparks of energy and courage in all I do

I remember every bit, how you held down the prey,

And encouraged me to set my fears at bay

Then at once you helped me slit the throat of the cockerel, without giving me a nay

 

Those palms that led me through the dance

Ever since, from the time of my entrance

Those palms that embraced the roughness of a soldier’s weapon

And the softness of a family touch

The palms that could make a rogue weep

Are the same palms that wiped out my tears

And never, at any moment directed a whip to my skin

I’m still awed and still wonder how you managed it

You sure did master the art perfectly;

Career man

Family man

‘The boys’ man

All balanced to create a perfect man

A soldier with no blemish,

An irony but you lived it, and for this reason,

You earned genuine friendship and a faithful union

Honesty and a good personality were hallmarks of your being

 

So now that you’re gone

And the dance can no longer go on

I got a different kind of fear zooming in

I don’t feel like I’m winning anymore

The dance floor has formed deep dents that threaten to swallow me whole

I feel wetness on the floor

My dancing shoes keep sliding to the door, pleading for me to give up

Yet I see no one to hold on to

The strobe lights don’t shine bright lights anymore

It’s too dark in here

And the air so dense

I can’t feel the song too. The tune has suddenly grown cold and the lyrics undefined

My dress is stained with uncertainties

And I’m losing it once again

I smile with the folks walking past the floor

They pass through, oblivious of my pain and struggles

And I realise the magnitude of pain a lone heart goes through

 

I need you to stretch your arms again

Direct my steps

At least show me where I should make my first and last

I feel damaged

And my body is trimming down its flesh,

Responding to and translating the stressed language pronounced by my soul

I’m disturbed by the truth about losing you

I can’t stitch the cues

I want to follow your lead

You left before the end

So now this dance is damaged

And I’m left with the responsibility of sorting it out.

Now I need somebody to find and guide me

Somebody to lead me on

Somebody to try, or better still, make this dance comfortable and joyful again

Cause for you, I’d already given a tribute.

 

I didn’t know it would be like this, never even expected it so

But I guess the end of this dance is one thing my soul will have to endure

They say time heals all wounds

And so I believe that with time,

The lights will shine again

And my steps will move to the sound of the beats once more

And then someday, the dance will go on.

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Annie Odeka
The beauty of my youth is what drives my desire to grow older because I'm always convinced that when it fades, there will be a whole new chapter of beauty waiting; the beauty of old age. Sounds ironical, right? But that's what I'm made of. I'm a puzzle that's difficult to solve. The out-going introvert and the fire that cannot be quenched with water. It's hard to be me at times but my enthusiasm for life always keeps me tracking and reminding me that I gotta be just me and nobody else. That's the reason why I like to show to the world what I'm made of and the adventures this world has taken me through.

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