I been to we scruffy ol' city plenty times recently and I don't hear them outside Fogarty's Store no more, or near that other small store opposite the City Hall road, the one 'round the corner from we accountant office.
Don't know if anybody ever notice them, they did fade into the walls and pavement with wash-out tee-shirts and baggy jeans and Rasta-locks which breed prejudice in some citizens.
Don't know what them drummer-men does see while they play, they close their eyes to shut out the heat, the vendors of cheap China goods...
...and they beat-they beat-they beat with bare palms on drums o' wood and skin and rope.
Don't know what other folks does hear, but I know what I hear.
I hear them play the rising and the falling of the rhythm of the hearts of the street-people lying, dying in the sun and rain. I hear them beat the sound of dragging feet o' tired mothers tryin' to make ends meet. They's the bada-dam, bada-dam of too big trucks breaking-up we fragile streets.
They play we dreams, they play we hopes and everything in between, and I ain't know 'bout nobody else, but they lift me insides, make me dance in me head while I walk.
Not so long ago, I useta put money in them boxes by them knees, and whisper, Keep playing.
Thank you, Sis, they say.
One day, they stop to take a break, I stop to chat.
For a minute, we talk about the need for what they do, there ain't no musicians in town other than them.
Sis, you know, they say, you know what it is all about.
I did feel pleased when they call me Sis, though regular folks wouldn't understand, we don't look nothing like Brodda 'n' Sis.
But as they did say, In spirit, we is.
And now, they ain't there no more, and the streets sound like a dull-dull thud.