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Anaheim Street in Long Beach, CA

Story ID:6680
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA. USA
Year:2006
Person:Teamster-2-Chelsea Kansas Kid
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ANAHEIM STREET IN LONG BEACH

The group and I
Were getting into position
Yet another day
Yet another demolition

The Cat was idling
Waiting for the stroke of eight
While we joked and laughed
We were always early, never late.

Next lot over a black lady
Was hanging out her wash
Leroy said after we get through
They’ll need another washing, by gosh.

Here I go again
I walked over to this woman
I asked her if she could wait
And hang her wash in the afternoon.

I said we would be stirring
Lots and lots of dirt
And she wouldn’t want
It on her clean shirts.

She thanked me
Took every shirt and blouse
Put them in a basket
And carried them into the house.

I went back to the group
They made kissing sounds
Making fun of me
But I stood my ground.

Almost time to start
When the black lady did approach us
With tray and coffee pot and cookies
Thanking us for our thoughtfulness.

On the tray were four cups and saucers
Not one of the set did match
An old Sunbeam coffer pot
Different cookies in the batch.

Two Oreo’s, two sugar cookies
You could plainly see
She had emptied out her cupboard
To show her appreciation for the group and me.

Not a remark was made
About the array
Or mixture
That was on the tray.

When we finished our treat
I returned the tray to the back door
Set it on the inside
On the wooden floor.

When we finished the job
Later in the day
I knocked on the back door
And this to her I did say.

I’ll clean off your lines
And get off all the dirt
So it won’t get on
Those clean shirts.

I don’t want you to think
That I’m nice and kind
I know several people
That would change your mind.

This is a poem about a person who is very poor
But is rich, in my mind
Enriched in soul and body
And definitely color blind.

Monte Manka10-09-o6