A Letter to my Father is a poem of pain, violence, and survival. Written in a language free of jargon, it pulls you in with its evocative imagery so that the experience becomes almost real.

Hold on death let me kiss the devil’s grandson goodbye…

On the pages of the heart you broke a thousand times, I soak my ink in my tears and write to you.

The drawings you made on my body with your cane are more beautiful than the portrait of the Holy Man
Hanging on the cross.

Father, always busy collecting seeds and offering in the church,
Doing business on the pulpit
While your acts ushered me into depression and fed me my own tears like food.

Always waving napkins and blessing the church with your filthy hands…
Those napkins and hands never came home;
They never dried the rivers of living water that flowed each day from my eyes.

Those days you’d tie me to the small tree in front of the house
Like a living sacrifice under the sun,
I waited for the Lord to send down fire and consume me.
While you waited for your fun time
I was your playing field;
I never lived.

Each time you come home my heartbeat skips.
I hear the worms in my empty tummy singing my requiem with their soprano voices.

When I craved a fatherly kiss placed firmly on my forehead,
You’d always soak the head with a litre of anointing oil,
Casting and binding the devil,
Ignoring my pleas as you force your rod inside my tender hole.

You are something dark for the memory.
Even the life you lived on the altar was a delicious lie prepared in the devil’s kitchen.

I envy the owls perching on treetops at night rehearsing their songs.
They’re free and happy but I never was.

I have made a loop with the rope,
Ready to climb and give death a warm and tight hug; something you never did.
Death promised me the freedom I longed for.

I stamp my letter with the blood from my wounds.

©Okeke Precious