“What happens to a dream deferred?” (L. Hughes, “Harlem”)

I don’t know what happened, the 20’s were fun,

but the 30’s were a blur, the 40’s I just…gave up,

“Does it dry up, like a raisin in the sun?”

It feels like that, because I could no longer function…as a man,

as what society said was a Man, I was nobody’s provider,

the only security I gave to anyone was stopping a fight in a bar.

“Or fester like a sore—And then run?”

I ran…ran away to Indiana, left everything behind like a scared child,

beset by memories of mistakes made, loans unpaid,

Women I’d laid…but left disappointed

“Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over—like a syrupy sweet?”

The smell of failure reeks thru everything you touch, puts you to sleep at night,

and when you wake up…you have a feeling of maybe today, but that quickly goes away,

because you are the same you.

“Maybe it just sags…like a heavy load.”

Pushing 322…and 52, yeah, they sag, and you think maybe if I got in shape,

things would be different! But…for who? You left everybody and everything behind,

and even when you tried…these Sistas ain’t trying to wait. For who? You?!

You gave up long ago. Now you wanna make a comeback, but on who’s back…do you think is going to carry your big ass while you figure it out?

Or does it explode?


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