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street scene

22 April, 2016: street scene


by Leatrice Emeruwa

street scene

catching greens
timed for us
suburbanites I thirtied
thru cedar’s streets
at 89th a fading queen
heavy in the hips
a mean strut
cross to the other side
I stopped for that furious scene
a man (probable stand-in
for a California prune)
leaned linty afro
from an upstairs window
gave a metro-goldwyn-mayer growl
“you better stop / flinging
That / /ass / around!!”
Tossing head like sixteen years
Cedar garden’s dream
“it mine ain’t it?”
“it mine And yours!!”
Roared in my ears
the red changed
and I drove on.
“street scene” by Leatrice Emeruwa from Black Girl, Black Girl, 2nd ed. Sharaqua Publishing Co., 1976. Used by permission of author.
A native Clevelander, Leatrice Joy W. Emeruwa is Professor Emerita at Cuyahoga Community College, where she taught English, literature, and creative writing. For many years, she conducted the Jazzy Poets workshop in Cleveland Heights. She has published in several anthologies, including Voices of Cleveland and is the author of two books, Black Girl, Black Girl (Sharaqua Publishing Co., 1976) and Ev'ry shut eye ain't sleep, ev'ry goodbye ain't gon'! (Sharaqua Publishing Co., 1977). As the Preacher-Poet, she sermonizes on Sunday broadcasts on WHKW, 1220 AM (1:45 – 2:00 p.m.)


Retrieve from files or from your memory the first photo that was ever taken of you. Describe yourself then, both what you see and what you do not see there.

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READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.