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
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.
“Whatcha got there? Cookies?
that box. Hmm high in saturated fats
High in polyunsaturated,
enough sugar ta
put me in a coma
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
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.