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Below is the poem entitled Mento which was written by poet David Smalling. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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They say I must sing
Through sunset dripping blood
And despite the broken wing
Of the bird fluttering
Where the boy had left it innocently
Sling shot wounded to die
They say I must sing
Say I must make the fourth beat
The important thing
And I want to know why should I bleat
Only after I have felt four lashes
I want to know
Because as a child the drop-pan man sold numbers
Making me know numbers had a owner
They belonged to someone
And that someone said four was the number of blood
And blood is the price of freedom
And the song is the memory of things
Things I do not want to forget
Things I file in the subconscious for a rainy day
Which must end for children to play
I love the songs we use to sing
The mento fife playing
While the folks clap
Mosquitoes and flies sapping the flesh
Parasites the flood left behind
I love the mento song
That they grow in Sunday morning digging songs
But I do not sing that rhythm now
The harmony is broken in me
For I do not know, cannot tell
Why the fourth beat intercedes my hell.

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  1. Date: 11/13/2010 9:12:00 PM
    David, you are an amazing poet and this piece is proof of that. I always enjoy your work and this is my favorite poem by you thus far. I know about the drop-pan game, and I know what the number four represents. Truly exceptional writing my dear friend, what gift of poetic prowess is yours. I am humbled by this write... and I love mento music as well as its predecessors. This one is going into my favorites.

  1. Date: 11/11/2010 10:11:00 AM
    The last line really packs a punch, David. I hope one day you find you are able to sing in harmony again. We all reach points in our lives when we feel the best days are behind us, but who knows what the future holds? Thought-provoking poem! Love, Carolyn

  1. Date: 11/11/2010 9:21:00 AM
    It's very sad and awesome write, David

  1. Date: 11/11/2010 7:55:00 AM
    Sad write..I felt terrible for the bird then I felt terrible for you..Sara