Poem 21:  A Tribute to Langston Hughes “Troubled Clef”


This is syncopation

The beat, complete

receiving echoed drums


Would you like gifts

extravagant symbols of empty measures

Notes of triumph

as your feet, bare

Make the drumbeat

Glory to the infusion

that continuous pulse

counting years in pain

as the drinks are poured

We remember decrepit shacks


No white man has seen this

In the place

where he fears the moon

At night we are quiet

our Darkness a peace

but our ears pick up the chorus

Waves crying

as we lie in slavery’s sea

Here, the trumpets blare

but the Voice, no one knows

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