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  • I would rage around the house, pen and paper flung aside, angry at its mocking blankness. And he would say, stop, sit, eat, talk, let's go for a drive.

    But the poetry contest deadline is this week, daddy!

    The words will come. Let them come.

    And so we sat, ate, went for a drive. And the the words would come despite my panic; they always did. (There is always an uncertain despair that they'd abandon me like a disobedient mistress of spices.) And when I stood between the judges holding the too-big trophy, I wanted to turn and whisper:

    This one I wrote in 20 minutes because I waited without waiting.

    The photo above was taken several years ago at the airport in Trinidad before I returned to college in the U.S. My father and my goodbyes are never easy.
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