Reuben Jackson



Legs which almost outran
the scuffed football
wobbling toward his ex-fingers,
Could not elude landmines
meant for Uncle Sam.

Now he looks like Black america
after integration.

Boarded up.. Abandoned.

Graffiti-riddled as Nick's,
Where War was on the jukebox,
The ribs were to die for,

And Keith's Stateside moves
sent more Sistahs to bliss
than Jackie Wilson in his prime.

Foxhole tight sharkskin suit
glittering like sweat on a brow
dark as the Eastern horizon.


Reuben Jackson is a poet, writing instructor, and archivist with the Smithsonian Institution's Duke Ellington Collection. He lives in Washington, DC.


Published in Volume 7, Number 2, Spring 2006.


To read more by this author:
Reuben Jackson

Reuben Jackson: It's Your Mug Anniversary Issue
Reuben Jackson: Langston Hughes Tribute Issue