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Mark of Max
Ntozake Shange

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The Mark of Max
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by Edward K. Brown II

Back in the bushes I can feel the beat.
I imagine I am in the jungle, but actually, I am on the street.
People pass by. They laugh. They cry.
They wonder who I am, for they cannot look me in the eye.
People think that I am dirty, that I am just a slob.
However, I am a person, a person with no real job.
But I work hard, like an animal at the City Zoo.
For if I did not, I would starve in reality: still homeless, still blue.
I have not lost respect for Nature. I am no fool.
I am living in the jungle where survival is the golden rule.
I listen for the beat. I can hear it come.
"Mister, can you spare a quarter?" This is my life as a bum.

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Copyright © by Edward K. Brown II
P.O. Box 2160
Philadelphia, PA 19103


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