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Duke Ellington’s You St. Lament

By Derrick Weston Brown

I try to follow his eyes
see where his stare lands.

The Duke watches from an elevated
perch. Now.

Not like before
when his face used to be
ground level.

Maybe he just
watches over you, me, and the
faces still left
in the color

Or maybe that's a
worried look
on his wrinkled brow

as if he's dreading
a gentrified tap
on his shoulder
reminding even the Duke
to fear a rise in rent.

Added: Wednesday, July 2, 2014  /  From "Wisdom Teeth." Used with permission.
Derrick Weston Brown

Derrick Weston Brown holds an MFA in creative writing from American University. He is Poet in Residence at Busboys and Poets (14th & V). He has studied poetry under Dr. Tony Medina at Howard University and Cornelius Eady at American University and is a graduate of the Cave Canem Summer workshop for black poets and the VONA summer workshop. His work has appeared in such literary journals as Warpland, Mythium, Ginsoko, DrumVoices, The Columbia Poetry Review, and the online journals Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Howard University's Amistad, LocusPoint, and MiPOesias. His debut collection, Wisdom Teeth, was released by Busboys and Poets Books in 2011. Brown attended both the 2008 and 2010 Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness.

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