Pretty soon the Negroes were looking to get paid.
My partner, Big Trend, wiped his ox neck and said
He wasn't going to wait too much longer. You
Know that look your daddy gets before he whups you?
That's how Big Trend looked. There was a pink scar
Meddling his forehead. Most people assumed a bear
Like him couldn't read anything but a dollar,
But I'd watched him tour the used bookstore
In town and seen him napping so I knew he held more
Than power in those hands. They could tear
A Bible in two. Sometimes on the walk home I'd hear
Him reciting poems. But come Friday, he was the one
The fellas asked to speak to the boss. He'd go alone,
Usually, and left behind, we imagined the boss buckled
Into Trend's shadow because our money always followed.