TV Takover: Saint Paul Almanac – Old Rondo

TV Takover: Saint Paul Almanac – Old Rondo


(acoustic guitar) – We were Ferris wheel watchers, firefly fighters, dollar
store cap gun robbers, cops in Sunday creased collars, private school scholars
giving the church basket the dollars our mothers slipped into out pockets seconds before. And we held doors for our elders. Next to receive communion even though our tongues hadn’t
reached the stage of holy. Water guns weren’t allowed in our homes but balloons were so we soaked our summers in battleship bottled
waters slipped through naive nine year old lips arising. Sunset sitting on JJ Hill waiting for those street lamps to call us home before out mothers did and when she slept we ditched our screen
doors, danced in rain, rinsed out our grass stains and became the nights nickname they called us kids. We called ourselves bigger
than most things our size sneaking girls beneath
the playground slide. First kisses were a lot like gut laughter. Everything was funnier when
you weren’t supposed to smile. They told us to mind our manners, fold our fingers, crisscross
applesauce for dinner. Did you wash your hands
before dishing them greens? Did you help your mother pick them greens? We were scabbed knees
and bubble gum fiends. All coked up on Mike N
Ikes and Now and Laters. Eat some for now and save some for later sounded a lot like a
metaphor for childhood. For the way we grew up through adversity and anniversaries of street
signs and jazz parades. I guess before they built that freeway there was a colony of houses lined up like heritage on an auction
block about to meet their God. The largest black community in St. Paul was cut down like it
hadn’t deserved the land it slept on for so long like it hadn’t raised it’s children
under corner store stories front porches and grandma’s front lawn. I bet if they knew we hid beneath the bridges they built they
would tear those down too. They would tell us kids to grow up like high rises through minority roofs. We were minorities proof that if you raise your fireflys in the heart of the dark they will earn their light in the form of a spark in the form of a million matches attempting
to set flame to desert until every grain is a
diamond worth giving a name so they called us kids. We called ourselves the reason
this neighborhood lives. The reason you can clear your throat in conscious and enjoy
the right to breathe. Our pigment permanent
in cement silhouettes so our street lamps never have to leave. We were our front door
keys, our tattered shoes and collard greens, our
mothers awoke us at dawn. Told us to walk down
the block to Golden Tom given enough money for a
coffee and a Crispy Creme. And if I remembered to bring four creams, four sugars, a stirrer
stick my mother would always blow me a wink, one
that meant the top of the world or at least the Ferris wheel peak.

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