a poem by peninnah ng'ang'a, Kenya

is the number of times i have called you today.
Its almost noon now
your son been asking nonstop "Where is daddy?"

He used to be so good in theater and arts
then you said that's not a field for real men.
He quit on his passion to play baseball
"I wanna be great just like daddy used to be."

You promised him you will be here today
i told him you were running late but coming
now he won't talk to me either.
I lied to my son,our son,to cover your ass.

The game is over
his team won and yes,he did score
celebration ongoing but your son is so misty
he struggles to fake a smile because you told him real men don't cry!

Real men don't do this,real men don't do that
he hurt himself playing mechanic with his bike as you do in the garage
he walks dogs early morn because he wannabe"entrepreneur like daddy."
Every detail in his young life revolves around whatever is in this your 'real men' idealism.

Your son is dying to please you.
Each day he want to be like you, be you.
But you so selfish, wrapped up in your kingdom
you don't realize the pain you causing.

You always saying how hard you work to gives us a good life
"So you can attend good schools,get a good career,be a real men."
But today your son did not need your money or whatever expensive gift you will bring
All your son wanted,needed,was three hours of your time,to have you here,for you to see him.

Talk about real men,baby i got news for you
Real men don't lie to their son.
Real men do not disappoint their son.
Because real men will never put money before family.

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