In a syrup of summer
you walk, free
on Father’s Day
under the solstice.
Your long legs in shortening stride
outside the walls of Angola.
Lake-bottom slow, your walk.
For fifteen years I was slamming
the passenger door the way you hate,
running into school, late
on a day you didn’t pick me up.
Fifteen years, deprived.
They tortured you
for a stranger’s crime
and Katrina carried away your alibis.
I’ll drive you home this time.
I’ve been running six years old
with the smile you held onto,
a seven-ten split with a side of dimples,
while I grew into young man-you.
The tires are fine, Dad,
it’s the concrete heat,
just get in
before they change their minds.
For fifteen years, New Orleans man Darrill Henry was held in Angola prison for a crime he did not commit. In May, Henry was finally ordered released. He was picked up from the prison by his adult son, who was just six years old the day his family’s nightmare began.