Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sometimes on Sundays
uncle Tom would show up
smelling like alcohol
and giving away 20 dollar bills
to all the kids.

Mama would make him
dinner and a cup of coffee
before Daddy collected back
all the money and drove him
to the bus stop, saying
"go on back to your family, Tom."

And every night Daddy would 
light a cigar and watch the 
CBS news or Lawrence Welk 
in his rocking chair,
laughing a little.

And every morning he would read
the paper in his undershirt and 
suspenders and drive his dump 
truck down the street and
employ black men even 
when it was taboo --  

Throw bread crumbs off the 
porch, saying "The birds gotta 
eat too, Mama." and how do
men who wear their work boots 
every day shrivel up and die? 

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