1951 By Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

Landlord, landlord,
My roof has sprung a leak.
Don’t you ’member I told you about it
Way last week?

Landlord, landlord,
These steps is broken down.
When you come up yourself
It’s a wonder you don’t fall down.
1052661_stairs
Ten Bucks you say I owe you?
Ten Bucks you say is due?
Well, that’s Ten Bucks more’n I’ll pay you
Till you fix this house up new.

What? You gonna get eviction orders?
You gonna cut off my heat?
You gonna take my furniture and
Throw it in the street?

Um-huh! You talking high and mighty.
Talk on—till you get through.
You ain’t gonna be able to say a word
If I land my fist on you.

Police! Police!
Come and get this man!
He’s trying to ruin the government
And overturn the land!

Copper’s whistle!
Patrol bell!
Arrest.

Precinct Station.
Iron cell.
Headlines in press:

MAN THREATENS LANDLORD
TENANT HELD NO BAIL
JUDGE GIVES NEGRO 90 DAYS IN COUNTY JAIL