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edna ellwood Dec 2011
Dey can' make me ride no bus.
I'm tellin' you, dey can' make me.

You know, dey all riled up in dere,
since we started walkin' to work.
I's like dey finally startin' to realize what we can do.

I tell you, Yvonna, I walk three mile to work
e'ry day. E'ry day! Can you believe?
I walk all dat way in my heels;
oh, how my feet are blisterin'!

But I don' let 'em know, no, ma'am.
No, ma'am. I jus' smile like I got all deh
love a' Heaven on my side! Can you believe?
Yes, ma'am, I do. I do.

I get home e'ry day now afte' supper
'cause I can' take no bus.
I much rather walk dan sit in deh back, believe me.
But i's so sad, Yvonna, you know?
To see my chirren tryin' so hard tah cook for 'emself.
I feel bad, honestly.

My husban', he workin' so hard,
he almos' die when he come home.

We go to church, Yvonna, e'ry Sundy, you know?
Don't you, girl?

I pray. I pray dat all dem white people
will leave us alone. Alone, I say!
Dey all preachin' 'bout "We Da People"
'n all dat ****, well, I tell you,
we people too!
We may be black but I tell you,
I tell you, Yvonna, we God's people, too.

Yes, ma'am, we are.

Speak up, girl, I can' hear you.

Well, I guess it don't matter.
Ain't like nobody listenin'.

Nobody listenin' to a old, achin' feet *****.
Nobody but you.
edna ellwood Dec 2011
we are mice.
we live in holes we scrape out of sheetrock.

we are cattails;
the tails of cats destined to be

chimney-sweeps when we die.

we are only people,
you and i;
only people destined to be

chimney-ashes when we die.

— The End —