By Eve L. Ewing
yo chocolate milk for breakfast kid.
one leg of your sweatpants rolled up
scrounging at the bottom of your mama’s purse
for bus fare and gum
pen broke and you got ink on your thumb kid
what’s good, hot on the cement kid
White Castle kid
tongue stained purple
cussin on the court
till your little brother shows up
with half a candy bar kid
got that good B in science kid
you earned it kid
etch your name in a tree
hug your granny on her birthday
think of Alaska when they shootin
curled-up dreams of salmon
the farthest away place you ever saw in a book
polar bears your new chess partners
pickax in the ice
Northern Lights kid
keep your notebook where your cousins won’t find it.
leave it on my desk if you want
shuffle under carbon paper
and a stamp that screams late
yellow and red to draw the eye from the ocean
you keep hidden in a jacked-up five star.
your mama thought there was a secret in there
thought they would laugh
but that ain’t it.
it’s that flows and flows and flows
and lines like those rip-roaring
bits you got
bars till the end of time
you could rap like
helium bout to spring
all of it
down to you
none left in the sun — fuelless
while the last light pushes from your belly
climbing your ribs
and you laugh into the microphone
and who is ready for that?
Source: Poetry (April 2015)
More Poems about Activities
I come home,
feet about to bleed
from angry stomping.
“Boy!” says Mom.
“Quit making all that racket.”
But what does she expect
when, day after day,
haters sling words at me
like jagged stones
designed to split my skin?
I retreat to my room,
collapse on the bed,
count, “One. Two....
Nowhere Else to Go
Turn off the lights.
Wear another layer.
(Sounds like a dad.)
(Sounds like a mom.)
You say hand-me-down.
I say retro.
Walk some more.
(See what I did there,
Your name in Sharpie
on a good water bottle.
Backpack. New habits.
No thanks, don’t need a bag.
Tell ten friends
More Poems about Arts & Sciences
The Last Word
I am a door of metaphor
waiting to be opened.
You’ll find no lock, no key.
All are free to enter, at will.
Simply step over the threshold.
Remember to dress for travel, though.
Visitors have been known
to get carried away.Illustration by Shadra Strickland
The Racist Bone
I know this is a real thing, because
When I was a kid, my big sister took me
To the Capitol Theater, in my hometown
Of Rochester, NY,
And there was a movie that afternoon,
The Tingler, which starred Vincent Price,
And what I remember best...
More Poems about Relationships
A wishbone branch falls
from my Grandma Thelma’s oak
What do you know about magic? e1 asks.
E bends e old body down, turns
the wishbone branch into
a cross, places it around my neck.
I am strapped at the Black River’s right shoulder,
When I was a boy
I was either a child eating bugs
or a child being eaten by bugs, but
now that I am older am I a man
who devours the world or am I a man
being devoured by the world?
Someone once told...