Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I, Too

Is this my favorite Langston Hughes poem?  I don’t know.  But there are days that I feel an intense pull to hear it.  Not read it.  But hear him reading it.  I had heard it yesterday on shuffle, but it was during a very hectic morning at work.  So today, in an empty and silent house, I listened again.  There's something about the way he says ashamed.  And how the word, tomorrow, is always changing identities.

There was a homeless gentleman who frequented the last library I worked at.  He looked a lot like my dad, made silly jokes full of puns just like him too.  For reasons unknown to me, his email was set up in Arabic, and he was always so impressed that I could help him navigate it no matter how many times I explained that all the colors were the same in whatever language.  There were days when I had little time to banter with him, but whenever I could, I would let him ramble on with his puns and silliness.  I always anticipated his approach to the desk because he reminded me of my dad, yes, but also because he sounded just like Langston Hughes.  

It only makes sense that I give this patron a nod when I mention one of my favorite Langston Hughes poems.  I think it's even fair to say that they would have sat at the same table together if they had known each other, both laughing and talking, their voices indistinguishable.


  1. I enjoy Langston Hughes poems. The voice I love to hear - over and over again is Edgar Oliver. It isn't because it is unique it just me reminds of my childhood.

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