the manning . . . (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)

the man-ing
(ode to a Haitian bag boy)

the words in my lips are silent
and this still wide smile
is biding something inside here of me
as brown grocery bags are neatly filled full
and carried out somewhere to a car

a broom in my hand and a tiny dust pan
trying to pass by here without being seen
and all of you there wandering
in those clean wide aisles
are passing on by and never minding
the taste of greying in my abandoning hair
and the steady glimmering here in my eyes
quietly hinting of another somebody there walking
in the ties of this pale orange apron

Copyright © 1993 Asili Ya Nadhiri

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