The Local Voice

Local Poetry: “A Dangling Piece of Wall” by Louis E. Bourgeois


written by Louis E. Bourgeois


In a room of textured sheet-rocked walls

He had screamed at her from the threshold.

The white live-in

He with his Cherokee skin.

With his coffee skin, faded skin,

He escaped from the reservation

And became a barred attorney in Georgia.

He being only twenty-one

It was all his own making

There was no blood bonus

Only years of hard work and starving with strength.


Propped on pillows and hands behind the neck

Elbows on both sides the head

Lying alone on a queen size bed

Staring at a busted wall.


The jagged orifice of the wall

Dangled a piece of itself, in itself,

Where the door knob had just gone into and out of.


Stretching out the hand that forced the door

Into a mean breath, echoing through the Atlanta town house,

Remembering it as the same hand that made his grandfather

Say slapping:  uyoiu way, uyoiu way

When throwing stones through people’s windows

When caught stealing loose-leaf from the Cherokee store

When caught slicing the throat of a neighbor’s dog

With a knife as long as a stake and a few inches more.


Then the central air conditioner hit 72 degrees

Pushing the dangling wall back and forth

The air roaming his body

Like wind on an apricot colored desert. 


A View From The Balcony: An Open Letter to Hugh Freeze
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