Mama’s Boy

By Tyrone Williams Tyrone Williams

for Michel Tournier, The Four Wise Men

At least once a month a man
boards a bus bound for Detroit,
one bag, a few books. Nevertheless
he always tells himself
I just might
leave Cincinnati for good
just cut out
never look back...

When he arrives in the Motor City he drinks
and drinks it all in until he’s dead drunk
on all fours, a two-year-old
mama’s boy, bawling
all night night after night
for the salt-sweet milk of his sister-mother
turning in her sleep from a hard back
turning toward the Canadian border...

When at long last he takes
a bus back to the Queen City,
long after the only rest
stop, he notices the first
signs: merciless thirst,
gorging hunger, swollen ankles,
what the folks down south
call sugar.

Tyrone Williams, “Mama’s Boy” from Adventures of Pi. Copyright © 2011 by Tyrone Williams. Reprinted by permission of Dos Madres Press.

Source: Adventures of Pi (Dos Madres Press, 2011)

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Poet Tyrone Williams

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Health & Illness, Life Choices, The Body, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Tyrone  Williams

Biography

Poet Tyrone Williams was born in Detroit, Michigan and earned his BA, MA, and PhD at Wayne State University. He is the author of a number of chapbooks, including Convalescence (1987); Futures, Elections (2004); Musique Noir (2006); and Pink Tie (2011), among others. His full-length collections of poetry include c.c. (2002), On Spec (2008), The Hero Project (2009), Adventures of Pi (2011), and Howell (2011).

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Poems by Tyrone Williams

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Health & Illness, Life Choices, The Body, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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