Dead Roses

A Collaborative Effort with Barry Dawson IV|Musical Selection: Little Brother Featuring Joe Scudda/Lovin’ It

Ryan Tang|Unsplash

it is easy to gather roses
for the dead,
words for listeners — 
you hide in the shadows, content
on stealing what does not belong
to you.

I have eyes in the back of my head,
protecting what feeds me.
licensing age-old lyrics,
no duplication, B.

if you’re stepping up,
ready for the game,
bring your best uppercut.
I gotta jab and a crazy left hook
gearing up for top lips 
and pretty noses.

a cruel business, the world of writing.
your heart is on display — 
the hungry come in droves,
salivating for something

give’em slim fast,
Ensure, or Pedialyte, but
never ever give them
steak and potatoes.

trying to eat the whole meal 
in one bite 
instead of the portions 
we gave you.

headhunting for 
a one-shot KO 
will never save you

from your ribcage-rattling, 
shook from combos 
of famine and body-blows;

still, you try to steal my soul 
like your name was Jim Crow.

not one to hide, you open wide 
to gulp down the fatty talent, 
but leave the conscience 
on the platter,

and then get mad at me 
when diabetes takes your sight

as if your mad-hatter, 
reckless appropriation 
had vision to begin with.

I scatter dead roses 
at the headstone where we met.
your fat festers, decomposes, 
existing as undead,

but I ain’t dead yet.

©2019, Barry Dawson IV and Tremaine L. Loadholt. All Rights Reserved

*Barry and I have been collaborating for about a decade. If I think it, he can bring it to life. If he starts something, I can usually finish it. We have meshed well for such a long time that I was beyond myself with glee to finally see him get active on Medium. Every time we work together, it is fun to see where we are in our work at that moment. He is a great Writer and a dope friend. Thank you for reading.