Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!

the leavers

We watch men leave Greenville
in their one good suit, shoes
spit shined.
We watch women leave in Sunday clothes,
hatted and lipsticked and white gloved.

We watch them catch buses in the evening,
the black shadows of their backs
the last we see of them.
Others fill their cars with bags.
Whole families disappearing into the night.
People waving good-bye.

They say the City is a place where diamonds
speckle the sidewalk. Money
falls from the sky.
They say a colored person can do well going there.
All you need is the fare out of Greenville.
All you need is to know somebody on the other side,
waiting to cross you over.

Like the River Jordan

and then you're in Paradise.

Written by Jacqueline Woodson


Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge