A Man of the Earth

December 13, 2009
By Lea Trusty BRONZE, Saint Rose, Louisiana
Lea Trusty BRONZE, Saint Rose, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

When people ask
about my father,
I look away and say,
“Oh, he’s not from
around here. He’s
a Caribbean, from a town
on a little bay.”

But I know who he really is,
A warrior: Why else
would he brave the home of the brave,
sweat in the sun of opportunity
donned in his navy Pellerin-Milnor uniform
and cap hiding anxiety and age’s effects,
his days of playing in the Falls
fallen behind?
How else could he battle
to gain his prosperous stars and stripes
from Washington and Sam
and ensure his own
would be able to do the same
one day?

Yes, my father is a warrior.
He braved his future
by swallowing his fears,
his roughened hands picking mangos
after his morning shift
of delivering milk
in his humble home Ocho.

He pieced together the parts
of my Barbie Dreamhouse
long after his fingers
were too spent to work
his tools of the trade,
screwdriver and all.
When mother briefly left for Ethiopia,
he cared for Rachel and me.

He cooked his distinguished
dumplings and callaloo.
He would fix my hair,
and in dire uncharted territory
would lovingly replace grease
with a handful of water.

Daddy, thank you.
I do know you well.
I’m your little girl,
your third born daughter,
a spitfire Trusty,
brought to you
when my sisters had already
broken you in,
making an ambitious run
to raise me, too,
in red, white, and blue,
but in green, black, and yellow,

Oh, how did you change,
little easygoing boy,
who once collected chicken eggs
for a hardy breakfast
in old Jamaica,
now a man of the earth?

The author's comments:
I was inspired to write this poem after completing an interview on my father for an English assignment.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!