It isn’t until I listen long to the Northside poet that I realize there is such a thing as a Chicago accent. I hear it as I never have before. I don’t hear it in my beloved Rodger, hear only the hope he brings to share. As I get ready to walk to the podium I wish that no one hears the Jersey in my voice only the experience I bring to share.
Dance through the mud then clean off your shoes
Large bugs cling to the soffits
Upside down as an alternative
To the rain-soaked landscape
I salute their efforts to find security
In a shrinking list of possible locations.
Awkward situations place my fingertips
And toenails holding positions
Trying to avoid life’s harsher choices.
Bitter, chilling options are cheerful alternatives
To no option at all
I can take the difficult positions as an advantage.
I have survived and this is the goal of the game.
I am here--come what may.
I make the best of the worst times so God can help me
Make the best of the best times.