By: Niajah Zaire Doty
When I was 3 years old you died. Murdered - your life taken away at a young age, leaving behind sons and daughters.
I do not remember you.
I have an old photo of us.
In the picture, I am standing, you are sitting – hands clasped, looking down at me.
Do you remember?
You had this radiant smile on your face.
I wonder, what were you thinking of?
Of all the things that my mother did not tell me, she did indeed tell me two things:
One, that you had a kind heart & two, that you loved music.
I suppose this is why I also love music.
But you, you we’re a musician - - in a reggae band. Talented.
I sometimes create stories of you in my head.
I want to tell people that I’m a daddy’s girl.
I want to remember nonexistent moments when we traveled together, hand in hand, to the edges of the earth.
But how do I begin explain my frustrations?
A man that I hardly know is my father. No memories in my mind of good times that we’ve shared. Your laughter does not linger in my head. Your hands are distant from mine. Your eyes have vanished with my lack of memories.
My heart does not know how to accept you.
I do not know who you are.
What do I call you?
Harold. Father. Papa. Dad. Stranger.
There will always be emptiness, a void.
Not knowing, but yearning to find out who you would have been to me.
I may never know, but I love you.