Little Man Standing in Clover inspired by: Titus Brooks Heagins, Devonte Hayes, 2008. From the Durham Stories: Not Hell But You Can See It From Here! series. Durham, North Carolina

Little Man Standing in Clover


I come here to think not smile. Cut that.
Prefer turf where I am taller than the clover.

Green is my granddaddy’s favorite color.
Daddy’s ’72 Eldorado is green. Everything

I like to think about was born before me.
I want to be a man like my daddy. Great

granddaddy takes his shirt off in the sun.
Cut that. He says it will take time and luck

for me to be a man and that’s when mama
yells out from where we didn’t know she

was listening, “prayer.” I never come here
to think without my belt locked and loaded.

Uh-uh. Cut that. A man needs his belt when
he comes from these parts. Snakes hide out.

Ain’t scared of no snake. Cut. That. I got
something for a snake. Wanna see? Daddy

says a man should keep his chest out in the
sun as much as he can so his six pack will

grow and his eyes won’t run. Daddy says
a man needs one good belt and if it’s right

he can wear it to church on Sunday then
to work on Monday and nobody can tell

the difference. Cut that. Smiling is for
cabbage patches and girls in tops.





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