My friend’s father was a quiet man
Tall and proud and rarely loud.
Teacher by profession, mechanic by trade
But he had the occasional tirade.
We stood in shock at the market gate one Saturday
A man with a cart pushed past her daddy,
And without a though he grunted,
‘damn nasty boy, look at his dirty head’.
The boy to whom he referred had gone in a hurry,
But I recalled his turban when he paused to say sorry,
And realized then that him being Rastafari
Was the main cause of her father’s fury.
Another evening as we passed my Indian neighbour
He snickered and whispered, ‘they’re the nastiest ever’.
I wondered later that night, where he got that from
Knowing they weren’t friends and that he barely knew the man.
After a traffic stop one day by two police men
His forehead wrinkled as he drove off and said then,
‘Look at those two uniformed idiots
Causing pure chaos with their random stops’.
I spent a lot of time with my friend
Her father often spewing verbal garbage no end.
And blamed those he hated for every thing
Every issue, every problem, and every sin.
My friend explained to me one day
In her room with an air of secrecy,
That her father was a good man, but troubled
By all the prejudices he held against others.
Years later as a geriatric and alone,
Her father required special care at home.
My friend hired an ex-cop Indian Rasta nurse,
He was too helpless and feeble to curse.
She confided to me that she had chosen
That nurse in particular and for one reason,
So he’d see how he wasted so much time hating
Humans who just like himself were simply living.
Ria – 2015