Rhyme Ran to Rap
by David Bowles

Rhyme ran to rap
nudged roughly by Milton,
slanting along Dickinson’s tongue,
taking the road less traveled
by smug-faced, black-clad elitists.

Rhyme ran to rap,
hustling through the Harlem Renaissance,
tapping her feet to bluesy, gospel-soaked jazz
while chanting hymns
in blessed stupor.

Rhyme ran to rap,
skipping rope and laying the dozens
on beatniks and hippies
who smirked at her childish antics
‘cause poesy ain’t music.

Rhyme ran to rap
on platform shoes,
spinning vinyl late into the night,
climbing with funky steps
that Sugar Hill.

Rhyme ran to rap,
and danced for a time
on a hustler’s lap
then slung billingsgate
at sucker emcees;
grabbed guns, aimed straight
for luck’s bum knee;
stuttered thundering from the lips of thugs;
slipped fluttering down breasts, hips and bums
till she evolved into a dreadlocked muse
who inspired bards of all creeds and hues
to embark on a lyrical hero’s trek
that could lift their gifts from the streets and protect
the legacy of the human race,
preserved in words that can’t be erased
because their sounds burrow deep in every mind
encoding our struggle in a weft of rhyme.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

Copyright by Dallas Poets Community. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.