Confessions: My Father, Hummingbirds, and Franz Fanon

Found this hiding in my drafts. I love finding old snippets and notes- like getting pictures in the mail from last year that you’d long forgotten.

With the holidays coming up, I can’t resist but to urge you to support the artists, musicians and poets in your life. You can always buy me a book.

Confessions: My Father, Hummingbirds, and Franz Fanon

by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Every effort is made to bring the colonised person to admit
the inferiority of his culture…
—Franz Fanon

And there are days when storms hover
Over my house, their brooding just this side of rage,
An open hand about to slap a face. You won’t believe me

When I tell you it is not personal. It isn’t. It only feels
That way because the face is yours. So what if it is the only
Face you’ve got? Listen, a storm will grab the first thing
In its path, a Persian cat, a sixth grade boy on his way home
From school, an old woman watering her roses, a black
Man running down a street (late to a dinner with his wife),
A white guy buying cigarettes at the corner store. A storm
Will grab a young woman trying to escape her boyfriend,
A garbage can, a Mexican busboy with no papers, you.
We are all collateral damage for someone’s beautiful
Ideology, all of us inanimate in the face of the onslaught.
My father had the biggest hands I’ve ever seen. He never
Wore a wedding ring. Somehow, it would have looked lost,
Misplaced on his thick worker’s hands that were, to me,
As large as Africa. There have been a good many storms
In Africa over the centuries. One was called colonialism
(Though I confess to loving Tarzan as a boy).

Continue Reading @ Poets.org or @ Narrative Magazine »

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