Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!

the old men

the old men meet
round 2:00 maybe ten to
share nudges & loneliness

#1 opens his door always in dressin gown
& stockin cap/ he invites #2 in
they sit on the porch/ brown stiff
beer cans sit awkward in their fingers
thick knuckles like small ax-handles

#3 leans on the picket fence
there is no grass here/
small wine bottles/ #4 walks round the corner
his top left pocket frayin/ the old men
walk with
old pictures    secrets  wishes

the old men
sit on either side of the stoop
hands dangle between their legs
#1 tips the brim of his straw hat/ #3
stretches a lame leg
#4 chews his beer cud-like
sadness like the regularity of young women passin
#2 nods his head same as the bleached willow
#4 pulls his moustache into the corners
of his mouth/ they're from round here/
they meet everyday with old pictures  secrets   wishes

Written by Ntozake Shange (1914-2018)


Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge