In Praise of Our Absent Father
Cover art by Victor Ehikhamenor
Here is a poet whose vision and empathy reach into the intimate corners of family history, bearing witness to generations of tenderness, violence, generosity, survival and imagination with rare precision. At the intersection of the public and the personal his politics emerge with integrity – if these stories emerge from the private world of his own family, their resonance and relevance, marked in the title’s naming of our absent father, call his readers to bear witness and join in imagining other possibilities.Tsitsi Ella Jaji, from the preface
D.M. Aderibigbe, from “Separating from my Future”
before me, there is my shadow—
my father’s past—gawking
at me with blank eyes: a past
I would feed to some hungry gods
in place of a return to my mother’s womb.
My mother and her sister
joke of their slow death—
about their murderous men.