Why You Leaving Now, Daddy?

Back then

the shovels,

picks, hoes,

rakes, pitchforks,

axes and scythes

were held high

on tired shoulders

that had to make it


one more day

to eke out

a hardscrabble


under people

with hardscrabble hearts


They sang and joked

and laughed between

the grunts of effort

that went into

breaking ground


Their sweat brought

the flies and mosquitoes


Their existence brought

bullies carrying violence


But their thoughts were

on their wives and children,

who knew that when their men

left them

it was to make the

best life

they could until

they could do better


There was hope in their toil,

and love in their hearts

and it hurt them to see their women

standing with the children waving, sad smiles on their

little faces, and his wife with

worry in her eyes even though

she smiled too


He might run into the wrong man today…


Coming home tired,

to a cooked meal,

and children on his lap,

and a warm bed with

the love of his life

holding him close.




Now that the chains are off,

Now that you’re free

Now that you can dream your own dreams

and lift up the next generation


Why you leaving now, daddy?

Why you in jail now, daddy?

Why did you shoot that other Black man?

Was he a daddy too?

Why you don’t come by to see us?

Why is mama crying?

Did you hit her again, daddy?


Don’t you love us anymore?


Daddy? Daddy?


Don’t go…


Why you leaving now, daddy?



Author: smithaw50

I live in NJ. Concentrating now on a getting a full time writing career started. Glad you could be with me on the journey. Ready? Here we go...

5 thoughts on “Why You Leaving Now, Daddy?”

      1. Strange what we learn as kids. I sadly didn’t have a close relationship with my father, (no problem…just wasn’t close… sad really), and as a father I insisted that that would not be the same with my kids. Like you, I’m proud to say that I provided for my family and have a wonderfully close, supportive relationship with my kids. They’re all grown-up now with kids of their own and its good to see that same trait showing in their approach too.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s