Ode to Big Trend

By Terrance Hayes b. 1971 Terrance Hayes Read the Q & A
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.

Source: Poetry (March 2008).

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This poem originally appeared in the March 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2008
 Terrance  Hayes

Biography

Born in Columbia, South Carolina, poet Terrance Hayes earned a BA at Coker College and an MFA at the University of Pittsburgh. In his poems, in which he occasionally invents formal constraints, Hayes considers themes of popular culture, race, music, and masculinity. “Hayes’s fourth book puts invincibly restless wordplay at the service of strong emotions: a son’s frustration, a husband’s love, a citizen’s righteous anger and a . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Activities, Jobs & Working, Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Race & Ethnicity

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Ode

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