Acclaimed poet intentionally misspells 'father' at a spelling bee for a beautiful reason.

Powerful, right?

If you don't have time for the video, but still want to hear Marshal Davis Jones' stunning words, he also provided a text version of the poem:


last night
I had the most interesting dream.
in it
I was six years old
in a national spelling bee.
genius
complex words….
duodenum….
serendipity.....
floccinaucinihilipilification.
up until the final round
one word between me and victory
the spell master clears his throat
young man your word is father
the crowd began to chatter amongst themselves
seemingly displeased
at the simplicity of this final word
I searched for those eyes
those eyes that say
"every things going to be ok. just do it"
I dazed off
young man!
your word is father
I stood up straight, licked my lips and began
father, m-o-t-h-e-r, father…
the spell master looks at me,
down at his flash card,
back up at me
"sorry but you are incorrect"
I don't understand
my fathers sitting right in the audience
"excuse me?'
"I am sorry son but you are incorrect"
well then
you can save your sorry apologies
because you must mean "in-correct"
as in within the parameters of being right.
let me explain something to you
cuz obviously you aint grow up
where poppas are rolling stones
down the hills of women's backsides
and when he's gone
all he's left us
was alone
where minstrel men stroll around on bikes
while fathers balanced their menstrual,
2 jobs,
2 kids
and a life
on a unicycle
and it looks something like this:
breastfeeding on one arm
phone on the shoulder
cooking with the other arm
cleaning with one leg
tying sneakers with their teeth
young fathers
who make mistakes
because we are not all perfect
but the one mistake they never make
is abandoning their seeds
you see fathers
are master gardeners
they tend to every leaf
removing the weeds
placing us in the windows of opportunity
so that we can lean towards the sun
and never forget that the sky is the limit
planting kisses on our cheeks
hugs on our backs
growing their love on us
the best way they know how
like my father
my father, sacrificed owning nothing,
that I may have everything
my father, walked a daily nightmare
so that I may live out my dreams
my father watered me
with blood sweat and tears
so that I may be ripe
for the harvest
and I hope that one day
I can grow up to be as great a father
as she was for me
you did not ask me spell deadbeat sir...
but if you want dead beat here it is:
f-a-t-h-e-r, d-a-d, d-a-d-d-y, p-o-p
p-o-p-s, if you want the slang
you asked me to spell father
and father is,
always has been
and always will be spelled
m-o-t-h-e-r
so get your encyclopedias,
show me your flash cards
open your dictionary
cuz what webster says
means nothing around here
around here,
my father is sitting right there...
and I love her.



































































































Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

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