Money Won’t Change It (but time will take you on)

You’re rich, lady, hissed the young woman at
My mother as she bent in her garden.
Look at what you’ve got, and it was
Too much, the collards and tomatoes,
A man, however lousy, taking care
of the bills.

This was the reason for the early deaths
My mother was to find from that point on,
Turned dirt and the mock of roots,
Until finally, she gave her garden up.
You can’t have nothing, she tells us,
Is the motto of our neighborhood,
These modest houses
That won’t give an inch.
Cornelius Eady, “Money Won’t Change It (but time will take you on)” from Autobiography of a Jukebox. Copyright © 1997 by Cornelius Eady. Used by permission of Carnegie Mellon University Press.
Source: The Autobiography of a Jukebox (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1997)
More Poems by Cornelius Eady