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The Childhood Agony of Missing a Father

The writer and actor Daniel Beaty recalled a childhood game he played until he was three. When Beaty’s father knocked at his bedroom door in the morning, Beaty would pretend to be asleep, before jumping gleefully up into his father’s arms. Until the morning his father did not knock, because he was in prison. Three decades later, Beaty performed his poem “Knock, Knock,” which includes the following lines:

25 years later I write these words for the little boy

in me who still await his papa‘s knock …

Papa, come home cause I miss you

I miss you waking me up in the morning and telling me you love me.

Papa, come home, because there are things that I

Don’t know and I thought maybe you could teach me:

How to shave, how to dribble a ball, how to talk to a lady, how to walk like a man …

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