The Wait

©1970 Quincy Troupe
all along the rail
road tracks of texas
old train cars lay
rusted and overturned
like new african governments
long forgotten by the people
who built and rode them
till they couldn't run no more,
they reminded me of old race horses
who’ve been put out too pasture
too lay amongst the weeds
rain sleet and snow
till they die and rot away,
they also reminded me of fading pictures
in grandma’s picture book
of old black men in mississippi
who sit on dreary delapidated porches,
porches that are falling away
like a dead mans skin,
like a white mans eyes,
and on the peeling photos
the old men sit there, sad-eyed
and waiting, waiting for the worms
and the undeniable dust
to come put their claims on them
and they sit there, non-thinking
of the master, and his long forgotten
(even by himself, firstly by himself) promise
of forty acres of landscape
and even now, if you pass across
this bleeding flesh of everchanging
landscape, you will see in the cities,
the stretching countryside
old black men and young black men,
sittin’ on porches, waiting,
waiting for the rusted trains
that rot amongst
the texas grass
[click to view introduction]