I don’t know about you but sometimes my burning desire and inspiration for a cause runs low and nearly dry. In those times, miraculously something always happens that proves to rejuvenate and reignite my flame. A few weeks ago, out of the blue, I received a call from a professional associate who had remembered my blog and my sharing my brother’s struggle with mental illness. She was worried about her daughter who had been having emotional challenges while away at school. In that moment, I was able to refer her to a few Resources, but most importantly listen from a place of compassion and support.
If this call wasn’t enough of a reminder about why this project is important, I received this anonymous poem, Prospect and Fish, just days later. The author traces his father’s Sunday visits to check on and care for him. While we are too often reminded of the absent black father, this poem evokes the strong presence and the journeys traveled by fathers for their offspring. So much of my own experience I could see in this one. It was my mother who made the journey to visit my brother, but my father would have certainly done the same if he were able.
So, special thanks to the mother who called me and this son who wrote this for us.
Prospect and Fish
Sundays he took the 18 bus from Bergen and Briar-
wood to Prospect and Fish; then, he took the A
train to Ozone Park where smeared on the third
floor of a dog-day row house lay his oldest: a sad
sack Lazarus who could not be resurrected from the bed.
Sundays, he lugged a bag full of victuals
and a mind full of thoughts about his oldest
who resented his father for showing up or resented
himself for being down on a crumb-crowded
mattress doing nothing with his life not even Continue Reading →