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Blues Analysis

Author: poem of Derek Walcott Type: poem Views: 11

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Those five or six young guys

lunched on the stoop

that oven-hot summer night

whistled me over. Nice

and friendly. So, I stop.

MacDougal or Christopher

Street in chains of light.

A summer festival. Or some

saint's. I wasn't too far from

home, but not too bright

for a nigger, and not too dark.

I figured we were all

one, wop, nigger, jew,

besides, this wasn't Central Park.

I'm coming on too strong? You figure

right! They beat this yellow nigger

black and blue.

Yeah. During all this, scared

on case one used a knife,

I hung my olive-green, just-bought

sports coat on a fire plug.

I did nothing. They fought

each other, really. Life

gives them a few kcks,

that's all. The spades, the spicks.

My face smashed in, my bloddy mug

pouring, my olive-branch jacket saved

from cuts and tears,

I crawled four flights upstairs.

Sprawled in the gutter, I

remember a few watchers waved

loudly, and one kid's mother shouting

like "Jackie" or "Terry,"

"now that's enough!"

It's nothing really.

They don't get enough love.

You know they wouldn't kill

you. Just playing rough,

like young Americans will.

Still it taught me somthing

about love. If it's so tough,

forget it.

Anonymous submission.


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