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even though it is only march
today is warm like may
so the men have decided to walk home
from the make-a-way-outa-no-way
jobs they do
their blue work shirts
with white name patches over the breast
sweat dried to their chest like tears
they saunter toward the simmer
of liver onions rice
cause work is over
and it is warm
like sunday suppertime

it is a warm march tocay
and children run home
from johnson elemetary
winter coats braced abouth their hips
they shout each other's nanes
trey and nay-nay
like some long satisfied song
laughs dance with the scent of fried fish
from the cafe down the street
they pretend its summer
and take out their bikes
and pedal like wind
cause school is out
and it is warm
like honey buns in the sun

and the whispering mexican men
turn their cap brims west
while they move east
down the rock of concrete
they keep their cowboy boots on
but lose their jackets
cause it is warm
like morning cheese toast
and the guy up the street
the one with the blond streaked wig
puts on hot pants
showing the tina turnerness of his legs
catwalks to the corner
for a diet coke and salems
and nobody calls him a punk
cause it is warm like cinnamon fired apples

and i am on my front porch
playing harold melvin and the bluenotes
teddy pendergrass thawing my insides
wake up everbody
no more sleeping in bed
no more backwards thinking
time for think ahead
we all trying to defrost
and savor the heat
cause it is only march
but warm like my mama's lap

Kelly Norman Ellis



Kelly Norman Ellis' book available on

Tougaloo Blues

hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Third World Press; (June 2003)

This is a beautifully written book of poetry. If you appreciate the beauty of the southern lifestyle, then NOSTALGIA is what you will receive from this book. I loved reading "Raised by Women" and "Aperture" which describes her grandparents' (on the cover) thoughts and dreams. Nostalgic and sensous best describe Dr. Kelly Norman Ellis' poetry.

Review on Amazon


elly Norman Ellis reads 'Raised by Women' width=

View a video clip of Kelly Norman Ellis reading "Raised by Women" (requires Quicktime)
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