orphaning (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)



hungry dayworkers running
waiting for cars who hire
in empty lots leaning on fried chicken stores
thick warm lips spreading
against cold window panes
in empty rooms full of broken things
little legs slowly walking
with empty brown bags
in wide streets paved with narrow dirt paths



this house is filling with vacant rooms
and darkness is swallowing the walls
the paths between us is filling with weeds
and hiding away the delta ground

and sometimes still we whisper of drummms
and hummm those sweet tasting mama songs
and feel the warm robe of those gospel fires
smoldering in the wisdom of many dark hands



the icebox is empty so i went on to bed
mama she left a note so i know her aint dead
my daddy somewhere he put’n grease in’is head
and my grandmama she jes git’n too old
all the people next door dey jes like mine
and dem in the street dey dere look’n at me
locked in here by’myself
in this cold dark room



in here there is no thing i see
all everything the same to me
no shadows here made by this face
one dream it sold for me to chase
in tennis shoes with lives they laced
in here inside inside this place

Copyright © 1995 Asili Ya Nadhiri

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