To The Absent Father

I heard his voice once over the telephone.  He called me, us, from prison.  I knew it was him straight away even though I never heard him speak.  There was a street hood rat twang to his accent.  He told me he was calling me, us to see how we were doing.  We is my brother and I.  Just before the call, I had taken a bong hit and was high as a kite.

I can’t remember the call.  I only know in present day that I spoke to my father for the first and only time.  It is hard and easy to understand why I never met him.  My father the heroin addict couldn’t keep himself clean enough to remember his two children.  I don’t blame him.  I can’t blame a person who was sick.  Addiction was his illness for a while and it should have killed him.  But, it didn’t.

AIDS.  My father the heroin addict died from complications due to AIDS.  It was a fateful prick from a needle or it could have been a sexual encounter.  When he died, my mother told me it was a heart attack.  And this is what I believed for a couple of years until my aunt, my father’s sister, called me and told me the truth.

I felt a sword impale me.  I couldn’t breath.  All the years I resented him for being who he was but my heart ached to know this truth.  I never had the chance to meet him.  Only in recent years I had photos of him.  He looks so much like my brother.  I look like him too.