Father

As a young girl without a father

I lost myself to the harsh world

I felt meaningless, pointless, a mistake, a burden.

How come a substance

White, solid, cheap, addictive

Get chosen over blood.

Over an embodiment of 50% of your genes

I questioned my worth more than I questioned my father’s location.

In and out

Of rehabilitation

Killing me softly by perforation

My tears soaking my pillows

Dampening my PJs

Holding onto an old photo of you

Wondering when you’ll return

Wondering when you’ll realize

That I was worth it.

I remember the time when

You took me

To the movies

The amazing feeling of being loved again

By my father...not yet my dad.

I remember the excitement I felt

Only to physically witness your deal with the devil.

He locked eyes with me while

He fed you that substance

Smiling at your demise and smiling at mine.

Again he took you away from me

Right in front of me

My self esteem

Plummeting

Transferring

Into my judgement in men

My willingness to lose myself to them

My willingness to lose myself to me

My mind

And its capacity

I think to myself

Why oh why

Am I satisfying

The stereotype

The stereotype of a woman without a father

Crazy, lost, unsure, indecisive,

Lacking self-control

Why bother ?

I, however, have met someone

Who appreciates me for me

Not my body

But the beauty

Of my soul

Of my imperfections

Of my fear and my shyness

Of my impurities

The impurities that you have contributed to

Yet

I cannot be mad at you

What you've put me through

Made me into a powerful force

Blowing away the obstacles I face

As a woman

As a black woman

As a black woman without a father

So Thank you Father

This world was made to destroy me Father

I didn't think you would be a part of it Father

But now I am strong because of it Father

Camara Wooten