Why Fathers Cry at Night by Kwame Alexander EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available For Free Download
- Author: Kwame Alexander
- Language: English
- Genre: Contemporary Short Stories
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
I was two. It was my birthday. She gave me wooden blocks in all shapes.
For me to fit in a wooden box. A puzzle of sorts. She showed me how to do
it once. Maybe twice, then said, with a smile, Now, you figure it out, son. I
said, Okay, Mommy. It took a while. But I did. And, of course, I wanted to
do it again and again. And she sat right there while I did. Hugging me,
wiping chocolate ice cream from my lips. Telling me to be careful not to get
any on my favorite black-and-white dashiki. At some point, she got up,
’cause she had to go to work, or cook, or have a life. And I was mad and
sad, and unsure again. But her job was done. I’d figured that puzzle out
enough times to do it by myself. And she knew that. Still, it wasn’t as much
fun without her. And it wasn’t the same kind of happy. But I felt loved.
Because she was there. And that gave me strength to carry on.
My mother died on September 1, 2017. Within a month, the cracks in
my marriage emerged. They would eventually become impassable canyons.
Within two years, our eldest would pack her belongings—clothes, books,
heart—and leave home. And leave us. Overnight, I was barefoot on Everest.
Marcus Garvey without a ship. This puzzle was now sky, the pieces of my
love life scattered across it, and my mother, the one person who seemed to
know how to live like a rainbow in the clouds, the woman with the answers
I needed like winter needed snow, was resting in peace. And I drifted. In
sadness. Seeking memory.
Barbara Elaine Johnson Alexander was my first teacher. She read to us
fables and fiction after dinner. Taught us Swahili at breakfast. Jambo meant
Hello. And Kupenda meant to love. I was her firstborn, full of independence
and rebellion. When I didn’t get my way, she would often spoil my sulking
with stories that either made me howl with laughter or hang on the cliff of
her tongue. I fell in love with her because of this. Because of the tender
power of her voice. She made words dance off the page and into my
imagination. Her morning wake-up calls were soul songs—chorus and
verse. She called us for dinner like we’d won something. A nighttime poem
became a play became a production that me and my sisters embraced. Our
bedrooms were Broadway. She taught me an appreciation of language by
reciting Lucille Clifton and Nikki Giovanni aloud. She showed me rhythm
and melody when she turned off the television, to our dismay, and sang
African folktales, like “The Beautiful Girl Who Had No Teeth,” which
Eartha Kitt made famous. And no matter how many times I wanted to hear
Dr. Seuss’s Fox in Socks, she let me hear it. When I could read on my own,
she listened to me. Over and over. She helped me to love each day with
words. And that gave me courage.
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