Patricia Spears Jones

Walking on Avenue A on the Tompkins Square Park Side

We are walking Sandra Payne and me on an unpeopled Avenue A.
It is dark but too dark and even in the daytime, it’s dark on Avenue A.
We walk on the sidewalk on the Tompkins Square Park side, no dogs
We see Steve Cannon driving a sedan. He rolls down his window
Want a ride? Sandra waves no, But I say hey he may be going further,
So we go over to where he is parking his car. It’s 7th Street — he parallel parks
On Avenue A & 7th Street so the garage man can check his car.
This is the unblind Steve, the un-glasses Steve, his eyes bright brown
but what is strange is his hair. He has too much straight black hair.
It’s a wig, a sort of bad Beatles cut with bangs. Steve Cannon with bangs.
He’s smiling but the hair, it’s post chemo wig hair. It’s the worst haircut
you’ve ever had and must cover it up wig hair. Steve had that New Orleans
Mess with me hair. The wig is rebuke of all that New Orleans flare.
Steve smiles, patient with the garageman. His ride is a Volvo?
It’s roomy and safe and he salutes Sandra and me and we salute him back
And then the dream ends

Patricia Spears Jones is an African-American poet, writer, educator, cultural critic and activist. She is the author of A LUCENT FIRE: New and Selected Poems and nine other collections and chapbooks. Jones is the 2017 Poets & Writers Jackson Poetry Prize recipient and she resides in Brooklyn. Jones organizes the American Poets Congress.