Passing The Porch

I plan to live longer

Monday through Friday sleep later,

go to bed later

irritate my young neighbors

by blaring Frank Sinatra,

Tony Bennett, Ethel Waters,

Billie Holiday, Fats Waller

at 5:30am for a spell

then go back to bed

the morning after

their night fill

of all night party,

listening to their romantic

classics like “Why don’t we do it

in the road?”

their classic dance hit,

flapper cake walk remix-

 the Macaroni... Macarooni??

and their torch singer siren voices

like not Ella but Gaga.  

Give there kids hell

turning my hearing aid

down when they come on my

porch 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?  

Gimme that box.  Hmm high in

saturated fats high in


enough sugar ta

put me in a coma

No fiber.

Old folks like to keep regular

Gives us stuff to talk about.

Well how much are they?- Huh!?  

What?! - The triple chocolate

with the fake granola


Four fifty?  How bout six?-

Ok hand it over. - What, huh!? -

You’re just taking orders?

Ok gimme 24 bucks

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!?” then throw the clipboard

down the walkway

as they scurry for safety.

I’ll block the sidewalk and grab an elbow,

when young folks are running late

past my porch for the rapid transit

and tell em How Isaiah Tuckett

got knocked in the ditch cranking

 his Model T and died days later.

Tell em I remember  before

dial phones, when there was no Internet.

I’ll trick em into helping

my old butt stake a tomato plant.

when they think they’re through, I’ll sing

“Uh Uh, wait just one more thing,

couldja bring …

that bag of peat moss there?

Rheumatism ya know.”

and, “Oh while you’re here, just take

these seeds,  see these mounds of dirt?  

push your toe in center,

drop some seeds and cover it”  


“See? Finished already!

That is watermelon, here

these are collards, this is fennel…”

You may think I’m an evil

cuss and I won’t deny it,

but just maybe when I’m gone.

It’ll come to them.

They never really knew where

potatoes came from

till I brung  um

the fruits of their labor.

They now know the joy of Rogers

and Hammerstein’s

unforgettable lyrics

by remarkable voices

after it seeped into their

subconscious weekend mornings.

kids never considered truth

or consequence in action

when their goals seemed worthy.

And maybe they will realize

that all the times

I made them late for work

 they learned about loving

relationship just because

in those few minutes

than all the times of being

on time they could imagine..

Maybe just maybe -they’ll miss me.