Treasure Island

A.j. Binash

(04-20-1988 / Dodgeville WI)

Nawlin's Funeral


He approached me smiling,
With a lip that hugged his upper-jaw
Due to the absence of teeth.

“Ey dere.” He said. “When I see's a white boy round ere,
I know's eee's ere for one thing.”

I hadn't showered in four days.
My clothes and skin smelled like cigarettes.
I stared into his pupils, they were wide enough
That I could see my reflection, faint in the blackness.

“That might be? ” I responded.

“To see the dope man.
Naw ya don't look like a white boy
Dat's ere to see the dope man.
So what's ya round ere for? ”

I pointed down the block.
“I think I took a wrong turn, down there.”

He held his hands flat
Along his brow.
Creating a shadow over his pupils.
He squinted for a few seconds.
Staring down where my finger had pointed.

“Where you's frum? ”
“Wisconsin.”
“Wisskaaasin! ”He shouted!
“Well shiat, white boy. A lost Yankee in dis
Neighborhood. Come on naw.
I's show ya out. Name's Raymond.”

He extended his hand.
I shook it.
His skin was rough and calloused.
Felt like used sandpaper.
We began walking.

“My name's A.j.”
I said, after a few steps.

He laughed and shook his head.
“Dat sure is a white boy name.”

After a few blocks
And a discussion
About President Obama,
We came upon a mural.
It was painted onto a fence,
It was of a tree, that had branches
Extending out into rainbows.
Surrounding the tree were various names
Painted in black.

“Stop ere.” Raymond commanded.
“Dis right ere, dis the tree of life.”

I shook my head in acknowledgment.

“Ya know what a Nawlin's funeral is? ”
“Not familiar...no.”

He walked over to the mural
His knees cracked, as he lowered himself
Into a crouch.
He rubbed the tips of fingers
Along some of the names.

“See ere, we think life
Is somethin to celebrate.
Even in death.”

He stood up, again his knees cracked.

“Some day A.j.” He smiled.
“They's gonna add my name
And celebrate.”

We met eye contact.
There was a confidence to his stare
That intimidated me.
As if he were saying
'I am not afraid to die.
Because I will live on forever.
Right here.'

“Ya feel meh? ”
He questioned.

“Yeah...yeah...I feel you...”

Submitted: Saturday, March 01, 2014
Edited: Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Nawlin's Funeral by A.j. Binash )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. a little piddle, lee fones
  2. The Man Who Chased The Moon, Tanja Bulovic
  3. Exit out, J.E. Deen
  4. Royal Orphan, George Egba
  5. A poem to my dead., Tiyani Shadrack Manganya
  6. Crazy, lee fones
  7. ISIL: Think Again, Negotiate with Terror.., Rachel Nichols
  8. Caged In, Kerri Foxx
  9. Only faith, I keep, Aftab Alam
  10. har khel khel liya, Yashvardhan Goel

Poem of the Day

poet Henry David Thoreau

My books I'd fain cast off, I cannot read,
'Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large
Down in the meadow, where is richer feed,
And will not mind to hit their proper targe.
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]