It is Unwritten
by Shantae Stewart
I’d un-write you from my pages if I could.
Rub the tip of my number 2b lead pencil until I erased everything of you that is bad.
Then rewrite you in the constellation of stars the little girl in me holds you up to.
There you are pristine.
There you are untouchable.
There you are close to God.
And there you are good.
I’d un-write you from the history of black men who abandoned their daughters.
Wipe your name clean from the stereotype.
Then map you out as a cartographer would;
Instead, you’ve been traveling.
You’ve been traveling to get to us.
To get to me.
But your paternal ship hit an iceberg somewhere out there at sea.
You hit a REALLY big rock, is all.
You never meant for
my childhood years to be written without you.
My adolescent years to be stenciled out in search of you,
and my womanly years to be etched into hard stone while I dug deep for you in the boy-no the boys-who should have held something of you.
And so I forgive you.
You were lost at sea, is all.
You hit an iceberg out in the ocean,
got drunk off the short days of sunshine.
You were bewitched by the bleeding moon.
And the waves…the waves….
they sung you lullabies.
You just fell asleep, is all.
And so you were never able to find your way home to me.
Not in one piece anyway.
But it is done.
It is forgiven.
It is unwritten.
And it has been rewritten.
So stay with me this time?
Stay with me, maybe?
Don’t go back out to sea.