- Rise and Fall
The world of the men was glamour. They cursed and loud-talked late into the night.Dream with their mouths. Sometimes it get real quiet and they ain't talk'nShit no more, they talk'n their hearts. Whispering like the white man is in the roomAnd don't want their mother to see, for fear she will be angry andCast a shadow that will block the little bit of sun shining on their faces.
And then up out of that dark night, eclipse and dirge of black toilet paperWet and stuck against all the big houses of the South—their voices climbThe hill again, head to hallelujah and jump the way they did as boysWhen the radio told them Joe Louis was winnin' or Willie MaysHit that homer, someone takes a piece of candy out of their pocketAnd their tongue is in sugarland. Suddenly, all they can do is smile. [End Page 487]
Bro. Yao (Hoke S. Glover III) is a poet and associate professor of English at Bowie State University. He has been published in Crab Orchard Review, The Smartish Pace, and other journals and anthologies.