cayley - Posted on 06 September 2010


Nelson was this big

Irish kid that lived

Up the street from

My grandma

He used to hang out

With this black kid

Named "D" who lived

Near him

Nelson’s hair was brown

And unkempt which

Made it all the more


He wore Ben Davis pants

And sometimes he’d walk

Down the street shirtless in

The sun, skin peeling from

His back

He walked with this

Swagger that said

The street was his

(And D’s until D moved)

Nelson hit high school

And got big and strong

And if you gave him a

Spotted robe you’d mistake

Him for Tarzan

Once I ran into him

On the bus and he told

Me of a drink he had

At a bar

It was a Zombie he

Said, made with

10 different liquors

He smiled and the skin

Peeled from his freckled

Nose and from his teeth

He pulled the

Cord and got

Off the bus

I watched him


He was something to see

We got out of

High school and most

Of us went to college

(Community College)

I got out of college,

Went here and there

And never saw Nelson

But the other day

This guy got on

The bus

He moved slowly

To the rear

And sat

He started talking

In a raspy voice

To no one in particular

I’m Irish, Swedish

On my Mother’s

Side he said

I looked at his eyes

And his puffy face and

The gray that played

On his temples

It was Nelson, a

45 year old man

looking about 60

He nodded to a few

Passengers getting

On, saying God bless or

Just hello

He pulled the

Cord, walked past

Me and got off

The bus

I watched him

Walk down the street

Like he owned it

It was something to see


© 2010 Revolutionary Worker Scholar

love this poem- thank-you Poor - thank-you


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