Today, I am posting this beautiful poem written by Ghanaian Poet, Kofi Awoonor, who was one of the casualties of the terror attack on Westgate Mall in Nairobi.
When our tears are dry on the shore
And the fishermen carry their nets home
And the sea gulls return to Bird Island…
And the laughter of the children recedes at night
There shall still linger here the communion we forged
The feast of oneness which we partook of
There shall still be the eternal gate men
Who will close the cemetery door
And send the late mourners away
It cannot be music we heard that night
That still lingers in the chambers of memory
It is the new chorus of our forgotten comrades
And the hallelujahs of our second selves.
By Kofi Awoonor (March 13, 1935 – September 21, 2013)
by Kelly Athena
You are the universe
No need to rehearse
Jump out of your chair
Tuck flowers in your hair
Leap high in the air
with dazzle and flair
Soar like a bird
that has never heard
the word “no”
Just let go!
Once in a while, you come across something that brings tears to your eyes. Something that reminds you of the vulnerability of the human soul; and at the same time, gives you hope that no matter what we might be going through, we are truly blessed with an indomitable will. Something that reminds you that there is nothing that we can’t do as long as we allow ourselves to.
This poem did exactly that for me, I hope you enjoy it too.
Her hair was up in a ponytail
Her favorite dress tied with a bow
Today was Daddy’s Day at school
And she couldn’t wait to go.
But her mommy tried to tell her,
That she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
If she went to school alone.
But she was not afraid;
She knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
Of why he wasn’t there today.
But still her mother worried,
For her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
She tried to keep her daughter home.
But the little girl went to school,
Eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees,
A dad who never calls.
There were daddies along the wall in back,
For everyone to meet
Children squirming impatently,
Anxious in their seats.
One by one the teacher called,
Each student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
As seconds slowly passed.
At last the teacher called her name,
Every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
For a man who wasn’t there.
“Where’s her daddy at?”
She heard a boy call out.
“She probably doesn’t have one”
Another student dared to shout.
And from somewhere near the back,
She heard a daddy say,
“Looks like another deadbeat dad,
Too busy to waste his day.”
The words did not offened her,
As she smiled up at her mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
Who told her to go on.
And with hands behind her back,
Slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
Came words incredibly unique.
“My daddy couldn’t be here,
Because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
Since this is such a special day.
And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
And how much he loves me so.
He loved to tell me stories
He taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
And taught me to fly a kite.
We used to share fudge sundaes,
and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him,
I’m not standing here alone.
Cause my daddy’s always with me
Even though we are apart.
I know because he told me,
He’ll forever be in my heart.”
With that, her little hand reached up,
and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
Beneath her favorite dress.
And from somewhere in the crowd of dads,
Her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter,
Who was wise beyond her years.
For she stood up for the love
Of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
Doing what was right.
And when she dropped her hand back down,
Staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
But its message clear and loud.
“I love my daddy very much,
He’s my shining star.
And if he could he’d be here,
But heaven’s just too far.
You see he was a fireman
And died just this past year.
When airplanes hit the towers
And taught Americans to fear.
But sometimes when I close my eyes,
It’s like he never went away.”
And then she closes her eyes,
And saw him there that day.
And to her mother’s amazement,
She witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
All starting to close their eyes.
Who knows what they say before them,
Who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
They saw him at her side.
“I know you’re with me Daddy.”
To the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
Of those once filled with doubt.
Not one in that room could explain it,
For each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
Was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.
And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,
By the love of her shining bright star.
And given the gift of believing,
That heaven is never too far
– From the poem Daddy’s Day, by Cheryl Costello-Forshey