• joshuapsalms

Concerns of a Father

In a psychotic world

Where resisting arrest is the worst case

And your very being ignored

Is the best case to hope for

I wonder...

I wonder about your survival

It has been my priority

Since your arrival

Baby please sit down

The words I must share with you

Are full of love

Yet fueled by pain

The pain of what this world

Could do to you

Should you rightfully choose

To ignore its brutal rituals...

Being a good, diligent father is hard. There's no easy button for the duties and responsibilities of fatherhood. As I started writing this poem, I realized the majority of my anxiety was triggered by a potentially long list of external forces that could affect the lives of my children. Sexual assault, rape, burglary, classism, racism, homicide, etc. These are all symptoms of our society that generate a lot of concern for me, primarily, because I can't control them. I can't shield my children from all of these instances, but I can prepare them for a response should they find themselves in any of these situations.

In reality, that's all I can do as a father. That's the heavy weight on my heart. After reading the latest news on social media or any major news outlet, I'm left with questions. Will my daughters be able to use wisdom to avoid hanging around the wrong individuals? Will they have the courage to say no to mind alternating substances like marijuana and/or alcohol? Will they able to avoid the types of men who see them as nothing but an on-demand, sexual conquest? Are they able to pinpoint the exact moment when an organization wants to use them as a token negro to prove they understand diversity? Will they summon the strength to fight off a rapist? Will they be strong enough to chase after their dreams without selling their soul, dignity, or integrity to achieve it? Can they sustain the true essence of who they are when societal norms pull them in multiple directions?

These are the questions that never escape the mind of a father. I continually play these questions, and many others, in my subconscious. I wish I already knew the answers. I wish I could catch a glimpse of the future to see the end of the journey. I can't and that is what drives me to train my children to be ready for any situation, while enjoying the time I have with them.

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