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For the New Young Bloods On My Porch.

For the New Young Bloods On My Porch

 Two years two months after post-Katrina flooding, I remember

 the first time I saw y'all

 Camped out, sitting on my front porch

 Chilled out in the cool shade of my cement stoop

 Spread eagle on the steps like you owned the place

 Bronzed chocolate faces, all sizes, ages, and you

 Acted like you owned the place,

 I welcomed you,

 told you, seeing y'all reminded me of my brother and his friends

 standing guard for our block, our street, our neighborhood

 though sometimes they stole a smoke from big butts on the street

 or made fun of people passing bay

 or they played coon can in the street, stopping traffic

 There y'all are, the new neighborhood residents

 bringing life to this 7th Ward New Orleans block struggling to
 return to glory.

 Come to think of it, I

 should have taken names

 should have found y'all Mommas & Dads

 should have checked if you were in school, and where

 should have checked to see whether you could read and write

 should have thrown 20 questions to test for any common sense

 should have jacked you up for being so cocky

 when y'all ran my tap till the bill burned me

 linning up cars to wash on my dime

 leaving the water running for its source,

 y'all not caring for the holes you make in my pockets.

 Then, in the last two weeks,

 I wouldn't be so shocked to find my 100 year-old cypress doors &
 windows destroyed,

 my cement and bricks--formed by Creole craftsmen--broken like
 rotten teeth,

 and y'all grinnin' like Stepin' Fetchit, slitherin' away.


--Mona Lisa Saloy

Mona Lisa Saloy is associate professor of English and Founding Director of Creative Writing at Dillard University, and Director of The Daniel C. Thompson/Samuel Du Bois Honors Program. Saloy's first collection of verse, Red Beans and Ricely Yours: Poems, won the T. S. Eliot Prize in poetry for 2005, published by Truman State University Press. She has also won fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and from the United Negro College Fund/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, magazines, journals, and film. She received her PhD in English and MFA in creative writing from Louisiana State University and her MA in creative writing and English from San Francisco State University. Displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Saloy was a visiting associate professor of English and creative writing at the University of Washington for the 2005/2006 academic year.
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Author:Saloy, Mona Lisa
Publication:Journal of Pan African Studies
Article Type:Poem
Date:Dec 1, 2010
Words:415
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