“Papa was a rolling stone

Wherever he laid his hat was his home

And when he died

All he left me was alone.”

Papa why you walkin’ out the door

When I can barely get up from the floor

Oh, Papa, I’m cryin’ pick me up.

And hold me tight

And stop your screaming at Mama through the night.

Please, Papa, can you stay?

Just until I’m grown and can go my own way

Don’t ignore me and brush me off like that.

Papa, sit down and take off your hat.

Who’s gonna teach me how to survive

It’s a jungle out there Papa, and I fight every day to stay alive.

Don’t you love me, Papa?

Mama says you do

But how come you ain’t showing me

So I can see

I got bullied today again and told them my Papa will beat them up cause he’s big and strong.

And they just laughed at me knowin’ you were long gone.

My hands are tired from painting the walls.

Mama said it looks good but she lyin’ cause I see the flaws.

Of my little hand tryna hold the brush steady.

Papa, why aren’t you here already?

Help me, Papa, don’t be this rolling stone!

Cause without your help to carry me, I feel so alone.

Mama says you’re still my dad.

But you lied when you said you’d visit and I felt sad.

I pressed my face against the window, waiting for you to come.

And kids were laughing at me saying, “you’re on the run.”

From all the women you keep on loving and kissing.

Something must be missing.

For you not to love me, your flesh and bone.

Papa, why did you leave me alone?

There are men chasin’ me that are older.

And with your absence, they grow bolder.

In their attempts to touch me,

I know if my Papa was here they’d let me be.

How do I know which road is safe and secure?

Without your guidance Papa, my world has become dark and impure.

You said the dragons you would slay

If ever they came my way

But Papa, while you were out there havin’ a good time.

Those dragons crossed the line.

Mama hugs and holds me tight.

Papa, the Aunties, stop to ask me about you and that ain’t right.

They say you’re handsome as they gush.

Then insult Mama saying she ain’t much.

But Mama’s your wife, and I am your child.

I thought being a papa made men less wild?

Now, I am 16, they say,” you look like your Papa.”

I want to look like my Mama.

I don’t wanna look like you.

I don’t want to hurt my kids one day as you do.

Papa, I’m  getting married in a while

“Forgive him and let him walk you down the aisle.”

I did that, and you looked so proud.

And spoke of the daughter you love so loud.

That anyone would think you were there for me

But Papa… Mama, says to let it be

“It is your Papa, after all.”

But where were you when I was small?

I forgive you because Mama taught me how.

That’s the reason we speakin’ now.

You’re old now Papa and no longer a rolling stone.

A part of me is sad to see you all alone.

Today you died

I cried and cried

Because I loved you and longed for what could have been

The days you spent being so mean.

Meant little to me as you lay dyin’

Alone, and cryin’

You left me long before you died, cryin’ and alone.

Thinkin’ life was all about being a rollin’ stone.

I love you Papa rest in peace now.

One day we will meet, and it will be better somehow.