H O W A R D   U N I V E R S I T Y

Faces & Voices 5
An Anthology
of Verse and Prose

the Composition
for Honours Class,
Howard University,

E. R. B

Faces & Voices 4


Juke Joint
By Maya Edmondson

The horns blow
With the passion and despair of a generation.
Piano Man plays
Brushing the ivory keys with the fairy dust of the Blues
Pouring the magic potion of jazz into every note.
The record player skips,
Dancing to the beat and melancholy melody of that woman named
The air sings
Sings to tune of drunken men and worldly women
Pausing in between the stomping feet and tinkling of
Shot glasses.
Whiffs of Brandy and Scotch mingle in the rafter, squeezing between the
Dangling feet of customers,
Feet donned with mismatched socks and church shoes with hole in sole.
Spirits fill the joint with spirit.
Juke joint, 
Synonymous with relaxation.
They come from all over this county
Ready to laugh
Willing to share the gossip of the week
And release all tension built up on the Railroad
They are here
Shakin’ and shimmyin’ off all worries and cares
At least for one night.
And they will dance into the wee hours of the morning.
They will sing with the lady of the night.
And they will live the carefree life they long for.
This is the Juke Joint,
Haven for one night.

© 2001 Maya Edmondson

© 2001 Howard University.
(First Published in limited print edition, An Anthology of Verse and Prose, by the Composition for Honours Class, Howard University, Spring 2001. Professor E.R. Braithwaite)
HOWARD UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES, 500 Howard Place, NW, Washington, DC 20059.  Phone (202) 806-7234.