Where My Fatherhood Comes From [It Turned Into a Poem]

Jose VilsonJose

My fatherhood is born of a desire to change
everything that happened before me. Or before me.
My fatherhood was born from not having a father figure present,
and constantly seeking them in the form of
priests, popular athletes, and men who only had time
for a yearly visit.
My fatherhood wasn’t prescribed,
and,
for all the reading I did,
I knew I’d have to write this one out
on my own.
My fatherhood is an amalgamation of
everything that went wrong with
me,
the abuse,
the isolation,
the fear 
tossed out the window
just to help me start over again.
My fatherhood hums where screams are appropriate,
drags where others bounced,
inhales where far too many coughed.
My fatherhood forgives
those who never taught it to me,
extinguishes the burn in my chest
where I once thought love went.
My fatherhood isn’t magic,
mystical,
delivered divinely,
but something I continuously have to tend,
craft with my own hands and mind.
My fatherhood fills the shoes worn
very loosely
by no one in particular,
simultaneously well dressed and battle torn,
fully expecting to win.
My fatherhood only matters,
though,
if the boy who receives it now
never has to feel as though he had to earn it.

Like I did.

Jose