The poem below, one I wrote before Christmas last year, was published online in Beltway Poetry Quarterly (Volume 12, Number 1 Winter 2011) for the Langston Hughes Tribute Issue. After the poem appeared online, I met Kim Roberts at a fundraiser for the MFA Program in Creative Writing at American University. The event feature alums, friends, family, and a special music moment with Kermit Moyer on harmonica and David Keplinger on guitar . . . blues against a painted wall looking a little like a street corner in New Orleans.
You can still catch the entire Langston Hughes tribute issue online. Visit Beltway Quarterly's Website This issue is co-Edited by Katy Richey and Kim Roberts.
LANGSTON HUGHES TRIBUTE ISSUE
by Meredith Pond
Nobody here I know ‘cept you,
painted on a big mural, you
standing at the mic at the Vanguard,
Mingus playing those weary blues
as you recite your poems.
Your face conjures a time
when the city hummed and glittered,
and we listened to you on vinyl
and slow danced in the corner
when Shirley Horn showed up to sing
at the One Step Down on the edge
of Georgetown, not far from our own
dusky river, that cruel-hearted river,
all fog and phantom now as we stand here
at the boathouse looking out at white
on white. Before dawn we walk home.
Looking at you reminds me what poetry is,
that syncopated beat, the heart pounding,
all that foot tapping to music only we can hear.
Meredith Pond makes her home in Takoma Park, MD, a nuclear-free zone. Published poems include "Peeling Psyche Off the Wall," in the Georgetown Review (Spring 2008); and "A Cormorant Dries Her Wings," Poetry Magazine online (Summer 2007). Pond's experimental short fiction, "Way Back When," is included in the anthology Gravity Dancers: More Fiction by Washington Area Women; "Proud Hail," is included in Kiss the Sky: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology. Pond received her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at American University in Washington, DC, where she studied storytelling, poetry, and fiction.
"Nobody Here," by Meredith Pond, published in Beltway Volume 12, Number 1, Winter 2011.