Ed Roberson

Man With Three Degrees
(for Tony Halfhide)



When he opened the door on the passenger side
and it spoke that need-oil croak of a greeting,
he said, “This ain’t good, y’know. You ain’t got
no ladies keepin’ it oiled fa ye..?”
speaking to things in that Trinidadian
straight to it talk when he speaks.
I never have a defense in his no
dressin’ it up court. “Y’don’ need much.”
his mantra: he don’t eat the meat,
no dressing on the vegetables.


I’ve always admired how right he is
all t’while he never say so ‘less he’s ask..
“Truth don’ take much word; most of
your time it take seein’.
I work only so I have time not to
work…Y’don’ need much.”
The only thing I ever heard him say
him need – women, cars, alla that, no –
was to look at the ocean.
“I have to be where I can see the ocean.”





from —To See the Earth Before the End of the World