What Papa Always Said Poem by Rabi Anata

What Papa Always Said

Papa sometimes told me all about myself.
He'd say, 'Someone's always watching all the wrong in a man's heart.'
I never could understand clearly just what he meant,
But I was stuck so far in it.

I judged all the world by the songs that it sang,
And scolded the golden and the glittery things,
Incessantly strutting my old black and white
As though it were better than everything else.

I was tuned and set in my mind about everyone
Before I saw the truth in their core;
Their background information was always a little deeper.
All the good was past the surface, hidden.

With a shovel I thought I could break through the dirt
But it was piled in thick layers for days.
Papa would say, 'Just dig a little deeper and you'll find something good'
But it was something I never quite understood.

Something stirred inside of me like a vicious thing.
It was there, nearly whispering, telling me about myself.
I almost withered when it told me the things that I would say
And passed the sudden judgment that I always conveyed.

So I dug a little deeper to kill off all the sounds
And there was something there that I had finally found.
I found the hurt packed in plastic bags at the bottom of a pit
And the countless people who were held captive of it.

This simple thing somehow opened my eyes to see
That all these people are no different than me.
They want to be themselves and enjoy their lives
But the errors in them are all anyone ever sees.

And the pain comes around from the insults they bear.
It just feels like sometimes there is no one there.
I knew because I felt the same on so many occasions
And I took my confusion out on the people surrounding.

So that night after discovering so much for myself
I decided to change my heart once and for all.
I learned to love a person instead of breaking them down
For all the wrong that I saw on the outside.

And people began to see me in a brighter light at last
They opened their hearts to me and forgot about my past
The only thing that I wish now that I am here
Is that it took me less time to get Papa's words clear.

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