Last page of The Help.
And then she say it, just like I need her to. “You is kind,” she say, “you is smart. You is important.”
But at the same time feeling, in a way, that I’m free, like Minny. Freer than Miss Leefolt, who so locked up in her own head she don’t recognize herself when she read it…
I head down the hot sidewalk at eight thirty in the morning wondering what I’m on do with the rest a my day. The rest a my life. I am shaking and crying and a white lady walk by frowning at me. The paper gone pay me ten dolars a week, there’s the book money plus a little more coming. Still it ain’t enough for me to the rest a my life on…
The sun is bright but my eyes wide open. I stand at the bus stop like I been doing for forty-odd years. In thirty minutes, my whole life’s …done. Maybe I ought to keep writing, not just for the paper, but something else, about all the people I know and the things I seen and done. Maybe I ain’t too old to start over, I think and I laugh and cry at the same time at this. Cause just last night I thought I was finished with everything new.
Blowing hard at the bus stop: southbound, NW corner.
Stars falling, but in that
blue sky who marks it, they fall all over out there.
Wind’s off the Barren Straits.
But the sun is blowing too.
Rearing high out of the nest snakeheads flap in it till the
tear ducts crackle.
The whole geste unrolls; black cars,
poles, black-and-white headlines,
dentist’s floss, wire mesh,
heads spinning, and
a thorn needle for every solitary tune even though there’s no
automatic arm. And it’s
all plugged in
and everything is coming.
But the bus isn’t coming.
Noon keeps swallowing.
by Nikki Giovanni
i paid my 30 cents and rode by the bus
window all the way down
i felt a little funny with no hair
on my head
but my knees were shiny ’cause
aunty mai belle cleaned me up
and i got off on time and walked
past the lions and the guard straight
up to the desk and said
“dr. doo little steroscope please”
and this really old woman said
“Do You Have A Library Card?”
and i said
“i live here up the street”
and she said
“Do You Have A LIBRARY Card?”
and i said
“this is the only place i can use
the steroscope for
dr. doo little miss washington
brought us here this spring
to see it.”
and another lady said
“GIVE THAT BOY WHAT HE WANT. HE WANT TO LEAD THE RACE”
and i said
“no ma’am i want to see dr. dooolittle”
and she said “same thang son same thang”
From: My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry (A Puffin Poetry Book)
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