LANGSTON HUGHES TRIBUTE ISSUE
Nobody here I know ‘cept you,
painted on a big mural, you
standing at the mic at the Vanguard,
Mingus playing those weary blues
as you recite your poems.
Your face conjures a time
when the city hummed and glittered,
and we listened to you on vinyl
and slow danced in the corner
when Shirley Horn showed up to sing
at the One Step Down on the edge
of Georgetown, not far from our own
dusky river, that cruel-hearted river,
all fog and phantom now as we stand here
at the boathouse looking out at white
on white. Before dawn we walk home.
Looking at you reminds me what poetry is,
that syncopated beat, the heart pounding,
all that foot tapping to music only we can hear.
Meredith Pond makes
her home in Takoma Park, MD, a nuclear-free zone. Her poems appear in
the Georgetown Review and Poetry Magazine online,
and her short fiction is included in the anthology Gravity Dancers:
More Fiction by Washington Area Women. Pond received her Master
of Fine Arts in creative writing at American University in Washington,
DC, where she studied storytelling, poetry, and fiction.
in Volume 12, Number 1, Winter 2011.