If I stand right here and close my eyes I can see my Father’s face.
Seventeen, sullen, pasty and pock marked.
His malnourished body bobbing and weaving,
long lanky legs moving through the thick humid air
propelled across the smoky slate sidewalks
by his poorly soled shoes.
Cold hard metal strapped around his ankles.
The demons in hot pursuit on his heels.
He is moving further and further from the heart
of darkness to the light at the edge of the city.
Passing through the places where even demons don’t dare to dwell.
Moving purposefully forward,
fighting hard against the force of gravity.
Rounding the corner with all the courage and speed that he can summon,
he leaps across that line
removes the shackles from his ankles
and fastens them
around my unborn arms.