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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fast Day 164 July 24 2010 {Riding the SMART Bus Home}

Riding the SMART Bus Home

Newly painted rainbows spill
through freshly washed windows,
bouncing off her laundered shirt
and rolling in the sheets.

Routine slav'ry of house work
holds her to the window;
waiting for him to return,
riding on the SMART bus.

The windows on the SMART bus
do not allow rainbows
to pass through where he sits in
licorice isolate.

Homeward does he turn his steps,
where the rainbow waits;
while tires slap the macadam
like an overseer's whip.

Tightly packed within the bus
are all his kinsmen's tribes;
sailors of the city asphalt
that flows beneath the heat.

Without the breath of Africa!
O, Lord ! I cannot breathe !
Without her eyes, without her face
or rainbows on her sleeve!

Detroit poem # 1
first draft


Ruth said...

I really like this first draft. The rainbows work beautifully, especially on her sleeve, and the allusions to slavery, Africa, and perhaps a more colorful, happier life that will never be, somewhere else.

Macadam is terrific, placed perfectly, and conjures Madagascar. I like licorice isolate, even though I paused at it, for pronunciation and rhythm. I think the pause is not a bad thing.

Very nicely done. I look forward to more Detroit.

Montag said...

Thanks, Ruth. First, I received your previous comment, but did not publish it since it had addresses.
I'll be in touch.

This poem was a complete surprise; I mean a total surprise. I don't know at what point this turned into a memory of the Slave Empire of the old USA...
but I have been thinking a great deal about slave empires. I mentioned in my other blog about the racist talk last weekend... that is nothing but a slave owner mentality transformed into a new age. And what good reparations when people are still enslaved?

Montag said...

I like your point about the pause at "licorice".