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Nov 2011
EVERYBODY got ‘em a cell phone
pissant with not a nickel to pay his rent got him one
i ain’t got one or the quarter to use this pay phone
sittin’ there behind me waitin' for me to feed it
and hear that jingle like some slot machine that always pays out
temptin’ me like some shiny new toy
but i got two pennies and i ain’t even rubbin' them together
back then, back when nobody had no cell phone
i filed pennies down on the street to make them the size of dimes
when one of them dimes could by me a marshmallow pie
from a vendin’ machine at the bowlin’ alley
that ain’t there no more
but some cell phone store is
but that don’t matter
i don’t want no cell phone
i would like me one of them marshmallow pies
and an extra quarter to give this hungry phone
yesterday, some lady give me three quarters
and i give two of them to Jose to call his mama and sister
he gave me two smiles
i kept that other quarter to make a call
but couldn’t think of no number
or no soul
want to hear my voice
so i give that quarter to a little boy
who was all alone
and didn’t have no cell phone
**inspired by a photo of a homeless person, sitting on a bench, leaning on his mobile shopping cart home, with a pay phone behind him--one of a series of poems I wrote that were inspired by the photos of the Texas homeless--I was in a Langston Hughes mood when I wrote it--wish we could post images with our work here, for the picture is far more poignant than my simple words
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