If Beale Street Could Talk


If Beale Street could talk

would America listen?

Maybe if she sang.

New Orleans gave birth

in bloody cobblestone blues

to beat black rhythms 

that blew up the cool

Big-Muddy Jazz river, Sweet

Home Chicago style.

B. B., Howlin’ Wolf,

Hoochie Coochie Man, Satchmo

bled while Lady Day cried,

so white folks might gain

an inkling of shadow pain

wading Beale Street’s tears.


Mark Gibbons

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