I was coming home to see you but the burdens
of growing a child alone turned me into a blur.
You must have remembered my arrival among
nine, all dotted behind you in the neat vegetable
garden of biannual rows our parents shouldered up.
They put eight impacted years between you and me.
You chose your wife who had my name and
brought daughters to walk in your kindness. I
carried the marks you fitted expertly like jigsaws,
leaned into the time you taught me, danced
recklessly to Elton John, the first music lesson
you pressed into my age. How could I forget how
you shook confidence into suits, assured challenges
of your unwavering devotion when you held my hand
through books bound with fabrics of unfamiliar flair?
You poured calligraphy and want into my ready hands
and legs, flung open our living room door and pushed
me gently to grow my own wings to absorbing America.
You slashed through hesitation and bouts from stories
Wild, Wild West told of America’s penchant for guns.
Death fought us in ninety-seven in tenacious Aba where
it upturned your centering gift with stealth and brought
your circle full force from your arrival in Anua Hospital
in fifty-one. Your birth erased the end of what would
have ended a fertile dynasty and even made prophesy
smile. You set that unwavering footloose ritual of
journeying from Aba to be born in the best, the custom
only the Civil War broke and spun us inward to know
the out world. You vanquished clouds, raised the bar
to none-to-compare. You, the gem, glow brightly in
death. From one whose head you deepened, I honor
your wisdom to fortify me during these arid years.