‘An Honest Man’ by Ahmed Nader

My father was an honest man all his life,

He never stole a dime, never even cheated on his wife.

He ended up with a used car with no headlights,

An old broken television set with no antenna,

And a hole in his lung from smoking too much.

“Keep your eyes on the prize son, and never get old.” He said.


He used to tell me about this girl he knew as a kid,

A tailor’s child from an old part of town.

The girl grew up to be an actress, then a songstress,

And finally a whore.

She died in a brutal car crash.

“It’s okay son, she had a sweet ass.” He giggled.


I had an uncle who thought he was sly,

He conned my granddad out of his money and home;

He had a wife with a clown’s make-up kit in her purse.

He had three kids, two girls and a boy.

When I look into their eyes, I see their father. The con-artist.

“What goes around, comes around son.” He whispered.


I love my father. Let this be stated in the history books,

But the man never taught me how to lie.

He never prepared me for the real world. The cruel world.

But he taught me about music and books,

About art and history. The things that mattered.

“You get born, and then you die. What you do in between is all yours.” He sighed.


I love my father… but I don’t want to grow up to be like him.



About Ahmed Gretly

Ahmed Nader Gretly. Construction/Site Engineer, fiction writer, poet, psychopath, researcher, a book addict, and a daydreamer from Cairo, Egypt. Currently doing Construction Project Management, MSc, at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
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