Spotlight on Poets: Fred Joiner – Song for Anacostia


June 6, 2011
Featured Writers, Spotlight on Poets


Song for Anacostia

By Fred Joiner

The 94 hums
up the rough side
of Stanton.

open windows blare
drums in the pocket,
the breakdown
of the perfect DC groove.
Washington Views

The 90 salsas across town
into the forgotten
bottom of DC,

a car alarm echoes its
protest on MLK

two porch griots wail
their pain and pity.

two preachers can be heard
through the sanctuary walls,
one reading scripture,
the other raptured in a moan.

The smell of last night’s first drink
poured out in a crooning ballad
for the missed and missing
…………..a song for a father,

a song for a mother unchilded,

a song for a child
playing ahead of the beat,
a nursery rhyme
for every teddy bear
rooted at a street sign.

This is the sound of blues breaking
the broken, back together;
the sound of chaos, organizing;
the sound of breath forming
words in vinyl’s backspin

these are the sounds
gathered in blood,
shed for remission of
silence and sadness.


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