When she said,
‘Don’t waste your words, they’re just lies,’
I cried she was deaf.
And she worked on my face until breaking my eyes,
Then said, ‘What else you got left?’
It was then that I got up to leave
But she said, ‘Don’t forget,
Everybody must give something back
For something they get.’
I stood there and hummed,
I tapped on her drum and asked her how come.
And she buttoned her boot,
And straightened her suit,
Then she said, ‘Don’t get cute.’
So I forced my hands in my pockets
And felt with my thumbs,
And gallantly handed her
My very last piece of gum.
She threw me outside,
I stood in the dirt where ev’ryone walked.
And after finding I’d
Forgotten my shirt,
I went back and knocked.
I waited in the hallway, she went to get it,
And I tried to make sense
Out of that picture of you in your wheelchair
That leaned up against . . .
Her Jamaican rum
And when she did come, I asked her for some.
She said, ‘No, dear.’
I said, ‘Your words aren’t clear,
You’d better spit out your gum.’
She screamed till her face got so red
Then she fell on the floor,
And I covered her up and then
Thought I’d go look through her drawer.
And, when I was through
I filled up my shoe
And brought it to you.
And you, you took me in,
You loved me then
You didn’t waste time.
And I, I never took much,
I never asked for your crutch.
Now don’t ask for mine.
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