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Daddy Never Knew Me


Janeece Vance

I know why mama was so angry and
why she never welcomed your presence...
Mama would always say:
You are the smooth-talker,
fast-walker type of guy.
But I, I admired your every move.

I would watch you
reach deep down in your pockets,
and you would pull out a shiny quarter or two.
My eyes,
Oh, my eyes would glow in exuberance.
I knew you cared for me!

You would pick me up,
and I would dream
I was a princess high on the mountaintops;
overlooking the green pastures.
The warmth of the sun would soothe me.
Your hands made me feel secure;
and we were at ONE.

But when you would leave,
those were the most dreadful moments.
You would drive off in your new Camaro
with the shadows of the night.

And I, I would cry.
Clinging to mama's legs,
she would caress me,
stroke me,
and assure me of your return.

I would glance into mama's eyes,
she dreaded you.
With tears in her eyes,
she dreaded
every moment of your return.
But, Mama would always apologize
for You.

She knew your leaving
was too much for me and
she always had techniques
of drying my eyes instantly:

When I would fall,
she used her techniques;
when I was ill,
she used her techniques;
when I was hospitalized,
she used her techniques

Mama was always there
to pacify me and
to embrace me.
SHE got me through
the direst times!

As a child,
I was bewildered.
But as an adult,
I am a philosopher of my past,
and these contemporary days
tells me a lucid story...
"You never really knew me at all"

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