Dispatches Liner Notes — Father

“Daddy!” The word had barely reached my ears, was still in the process of forming a thought in my mind. Constructing itself into an idea of fatherhood, molding definitions to each letter, clinging with the innocent naivety of a child who had never been disappointed by the keeper of their hopes. Had never seen their dreams crashing against a shore of broken promises, until the shine fell away, revealing the rust beneath. Until the word “father” rang laughably hollow.

“Daddy!” It came again, and I jumped, found myself unable to move as a small child wrapped their arms around my leg, their head resting on my knee, their laughter springing lightly from them.

“I’m so so sorry!” The mother, then. Eyes apologetically kind, “baby, let this man go. Every tall black man you see ain’t your father!”

Tiny eyes caught mine, then their mother’s, “he got daddy hair.”

“He does, but your daddy is at work. C’mon, honey.” She held out her hand, wrapped the tinier one within, “I really am sorry.”

“He looked like daddy, mama. He did…” This child, voice fading as they moved further away, bound to their father with promises unbroken had never sat upon the shore of disappointment.

***

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