I plan to live longer

Monday through Friday

Sleep in later, go to bed later

Irritate my young neighbors by

blaring Frank Sinatra,

Nat King Cole,

Tony Bennett, Ethel Waters,

Billie Holiday, Fats Waller

at 3:30am for a spell

then go back to bed

the morning after

their night fill

of all night party,

Listening to their romantic


like “Why don’t we do it in the road?”

their classic dance hit,

flapper cake walk remix

 the “Macaroni”

and their torch singer siren voices

like not Ella but Gaga.  

Give there kids hell

turning my hearing aid


when they come selling

Boy Scout, Girl Scout,

church, school fieldtrip,

cookies, candies, fly swatters

Or whatever the hell they’re

using to separate me from my money.


Throat sing.

“Whatcha got there? Cookies?  


that box.  Hmm high in saturated fats

High in polyunsaturated,

enough sugar ta

put me in a coma

No fiber.

Old folks like to keep regular ya know

Gives us something to talk about.

Well how much are they? Huh!?  What?!

The triple chocolate with the fake granola


Huh what? Four fifty?  How bout six?

Ok hand it over.  What, huh!? You’re just taking orders?

Ok gimme 24 bucks now

and I’ll take 4 boxes off your hands

When they come in.

Huh what?! Me pay you!?

Didn’t ya just hear me?  

High in fat, too much sugar

and no fiber.

Why would I pay you!?”

and then throw the clipboard

down the walkway

as the scurry for safety.

I’ll block the sidewalk and grab an elbow,

when young folks

are running late for

the rapid transit

and tell em How Isaiah Tuckett

got knocked in the ditch

cranking his Model T and died 2 days later.

Tell em I remember  before

dial phones when there was no Internet

hell I remember


I’ll trick em into helping

my old butt stake a tomato plant

And just when they think they’re finished,

“Uh Uh, just one more thing,

couldja bring …

that bag of peat moss over here?

My rheumatism is flaring up”


“Oh ya know while you’re here, just take

this handful of seeds,  see these mounds of dirt?  

Just push your toe down in there, drop some seeds

and cover it up like this”  It won’t take you long.”  

“See? Finished already! That was watermelon, here

these are collard greens, this is fennel…”

You may think I’m an evil cuss and I won’t deny it,

but maybe, just maybe when I’m gone.

It’ll come to them.

They never really knew where potatoes came from


I brung um the fruits of their labor.

They never knew the joy of Rogers

and Hammerstein’s unforgettable lyrics sung by

unforgettable voices

until it seeped into their

subconscious Saturday mornings.

Their kids never really considered the truth

or consequences of their action

when their goals seemed 


And maybe they will realize

that all the times

I made them late for work

 they learned something about patience

mindfulness, vision and relationship

in those few minutes

than all the times of being

on time they could imagine..


they’ll miss me.