Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Morning Work"

"Clap, Clap, Clap,"
the girls go
with their hands: swaying hips
and popping them like gum.
I snap my gum quick like put downs.
(They know it's me because
they aren't allowed.) I've got to
go around and keep them in line.

Hard comebacks are quick,
rip and sting and they
bring howls and hollers
from the muster of young men:
"young bulls" bellowing
loud and louder.

The herd always recognizes
the weakened.

shapely moving from one
thing to another,
their relationships
slip and turn on a slippery dime.

Two cents, twenty-five, "Give
me my respect and I'll let you go
to the vending machine."

But I'm not their mother, and
I can't stand mine, so what
can I say to decant their despise
of my color, of my ignorance.
"Just open my mind", I think.

But I think it in the quiet.
In the rush of the peace being
passed around, resting on each
word and inflection, the interaction
leaves me gasping.

"I'm just trying to get you guys to
learn something, anything, just something."

The herd always recognizes
the weakened.

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