Saturday, August 6, 2011


I walked into my writting class a couple of Mondays ago where my instructor handed out the following prompt: Legitimate Praise
When I put pen to paper, I instantly free fell into the pain I felt for a long time after my father's passing. Needless to say, I never got to the "praise" part of the assignment but here is what I penned that day.

Just fresh dirt, a mound of dark red, pebble riddled dirt. Underneath my father. No headstone, not flowers, nothing. There he was shrouded from my eyes forever. My father, the man who unknowingly gave me the best gift in the world. He gave me the the gift of education, in a culture where the white men's school was taboo, the way straight to hell even for a male child, left alone a girl.

I wanted to be here. My mothers had attempted to dissuade me.
"Women don't got to grave sites," they said.
"I'm going," I responded. It was the first time I had ever raised my voice to them. They took notice.
"Well, then wear a pair of pants under your Jelbab. The deads should not see under your clothes when you step over their graves."

This is where the timer stopped the fifteen minute prompt writing. It was painful for me and still is, as I'm copying my work to this post. Too painful to edit, too painful to finish. I will someday but for now here it is. To a father who was really one...

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