Count of Blessings1
September 14, 2012 by The Citron Review
by Lhea J. Love
There isn’t much to say. The father of my firstborn is much more than the father of my first born. There really isn’t a word in the English language, really. He is not my husband, not my boyfriend; I am not his spouse and not his mistress. He is not my fantasy because that word is too limited; and I am not his, for other reasons. He is simply a man who got stuck with me. That’s the way my sister put it upon meeting him with me for the first time. Her words resonated so well within his soul that his cranium fell off his spine shaking slowly with some long awaited acknowledgement, some final relief that someone finally recognized his pain. But my sister never saw the father of my firstborn’s expression and she never saw mine as she turned to leave the visit walking side by side with her husband.
There isn’t much to say. The father of my firstborn demands that his daughter doesn’t turn out like me. He questions me, my ethical parenting ability. He asks, “If my daughter wanted to have sex at fourteen — you would let her wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t even try to intervene?” I want to tell him of the displaced pride, some dispossessed pleasure I would have, if any brown skin nappy headed daughter of mine was courted at such a young age. When my mother was ten and four no black boy had eyes for her; she told me so– before she died. By I was twenty and four no black man had eyes for me; I tell him so– when he will listen. I want to ask the father of my firstborn: if my daughter wanted to have sex at fourteen, did any black boy want her back?
There isn’t much to say. No Black man would ever allow me to carry his baby unless he was bribed and bound. And so, I pray for the father of my firstborn– almost daily.
Lhea J. Love is the author of Kings, Niggers & Negroes and two poetry chapbooks. Lhea’s work has been published by Four and Twenty, The Gettysburg Review and Drum Voices Revue. Lhea’s poetry is forthcoming within African American Review. Lhea currently resides in Detroit, Michigan where she edits Literarily:Erotic literary journal and seeks publishers for her fourth poetry collection, her first essay collection and her first novel.
this is heartbreaking and beautiful all-in-one.