the sound of St. Mary’s City

March 13, 2017

for Dr. Michael Glaser, Sekou Sundiata and Lucille Clifton

What does my DC bop and sway
mean in the quiet rhythms
of this place?

the river swinging into it banks
the same way for the last billion years*

every tree standing
its ground, keeping time
like a slow walking bass

and what said the dark,
slim country road,
but a slow muted “So What”
to my sidewalk swagger?

Here, the soundtrack
to my citified pomp
is swallowed by the song
of every blade of grass,
bending to the wind’s breath, all

my stone faced stillness
rippled away a like a pebble
kissing a pond in the wilderness

*from Sekou Sundiata’s Forsaken Sea

To read more of Fred Joiner’s poetry go to