Saturday, May 17, 2008

Still Here

Rain was everywhere in the Bronx last night.

It slipped under collars and soaked through hats. The wind blew it under the roof and into the upper deck and it collected in puddles in the aisles and corridors of Yankee Stadium.

It was the same across River Avenue at Ball Park Lanes where Earl from Harlem leaned against the counter and brushed the rain from his coat.

“You can’t let the weather bother you,” he said. “It’s always gonna be here and so am I. Well, until I die.”

Earl smiled and reached into his pocket for the torn page of a poetry book.

“Langston Hughes,” he announced. “This one is called: Still Here.”

“I’ve been scared and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me, sun has baked me.
Looks like between ‘em
They done tried to make me
Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’–
But I don’t care!
I’m still here!”

Earl folded the page and slipped it back in his pocket.

“I’ll still be here tomorrow,” he said. “And the next day and the next day and the next day, too. Baseball comes every day just like the weather.”


Henry said...

Nice story from a rainy night.

JoeyBoy said...

That’s a Classic. Let’s get a Classic win to go along with it today.

Larry Jaffe said...

I so love Langston Hughes. Thanks Todd you shine the light where it belongs.

Larry Jaffe said...

Hey Todd, it's my Dad's birthday today and I wrote him a new poem which I hope you don't mind my posting. Just that I like delivering my words here... :)

Stockcars, Daredevils & Demolition Derby
In Honor of Jules Jaffe #86

Stockcars, Daredevils
and Demolition Derby
Oh Yeah, Demolition Derby!

We are off
to Islip Speedway
a Long Island ritual
Like my Bar Mitzvah
only louder!
Like a ballgame
only louder!
Like teenage fantasies
only louder!

Dad proudly guides
me behind the sound
of roaring engines
to a place only
sharp-eyed mechanics

So excited
I vibrate
with delight
crewcut boy
out with his Dad.

Strutting to the ticket booth
we get passages to puberty
marching through gates of glory
like visiting royalty.

burnt rubber fuming
brakes screeching
engines revving
tachometers bursting

I am at Islip Speedway.
home of Stockcars, Daredevils
and Demolition Derby…

Ultimate daredevil Joie Chitwood
drives on two wheels
in his endless
exploration of gravity.

Stock cars wiz by
in transient victory
no one knows who wins
we don’t care
we live for speed.

And then it’s time
for the bestest spectacle
in the entire free world
– Demolition Derby
fenders bang
bumpers thump
drivers snarl
in a jungle
of vehicular dreams
all to the music
of earsplitting screams
from the crowd.

Stock Cars, Daredevils and Demolition Derby
Oh yeah, Demolition Derby!
And a crewcut boy loving his Dad!

© 2008

Todd Drew said...

Very nice, Larry. I grew up a Richie Evans fan.