Langston Hughes





Deferred

This year, maybe, do you think I can graduate?
I’m already two years late.
Dropped out six months when I was seven,
a year when I was eleven,
then got put back when we came North,
To get through high at twenty’s kind of late -
But maybe this year I can graduate.

Maybe now I can have that white enamel stove
I dreamed about when we first fell in love
eighteen years ago.
But you know,
rooming and everything
then kids,
cold-water flat and all that.
But now my daughter’s married
And my boy’s most grown -
quit school to work -
and when we’re moving
there ain’t no stove - 
Maybe I can buy that white enamel stove!

Me, I always did want to study French.
It don’t make sense - 
I’ll never go to France,
but night schools teach French.
Now at last I’ve got a job
where I get off at five,
in time to wash and dress,
so, s’il vous plait, I’ll study French!

Someday,
I’m gonna buy two new suits
at once!

All I want is 
one more bottle of gin.

All I want is to see
my furniture paid for.

All I want is a wife who will
work with me and not against me. Say,
baby, could you see your way clear?

Heaven, heaven, is my home!
This world I’ll leave behind
When I set my feet in glory
I’ll have a throne for mine!

I want to pass the civil service.

I want a television set.

You know, as old as I am,
I ain’t never
owned a decent radio yet?

I’d like to take up Bach.

    Montage
    of a dream
    deferred.

Buddy, have you heard?


spoken = Rotimi Agbabiaka