My most memorable academic years are those of junior high school. School felt like a family to me. I was enrolled in a bilingual program, so all of my subjects (except English class) were conducted in Spanish. I was given the opportunity to recite this amazing poem.
This experience is vividly etched in my conscious memory
(From a Montage of Poems: Harlem)
This year, maybe, do you think I can graduate? I’m already two years late. Dropped out six months when I was seven, a year when I was eleven, then got put back when we came North, To get through high at twenty’s kind of late -
But maybe this year I can graduate.
Maybe now I can have that white enamel stove
I dreamed about when we first fell in love
eighteen years ago.
But you know,
rooming and everything
cold-water flat and all that.
But now my daughter’s married
And my boy’s most grown -
quit school to work -
and when we’re moving
there ain’t no stove -
Maybe I can buy that white enamel stove!
Me, I always did want to study French.
It don’t make sense -
I’ll never go to France,
but night schools teach French.
Now at last I’ve got a job
where I get off at five,
in time to wash and dress,
so, s’il vous plait, I’ll study French!
I’m gonna buy two new suits
All I want is
one more bottle of gin.
All I want is to see
my furniture paid for.
All I want is a wife who will
work with me and not against me.
Say, baby, could you see your way clear?
Heaven, heaven, is my home! T
his world I’ll leave behind
When I set my feet in glory I’ll have a throne for mine!
I want to pass the civil service.
I want a television set.
You know, as old as I am, I ain’t never owned a decent radio yet?