Hootin' N' Hollerin'

by Michael Carroll

I took pop-pop’s hair pick to the fibers of my

roots and combed through decades of our heritage.

I could see through the pain, through the torment

of jilted hopes, and stifled dreams

of freedom.

I sat, intently, in the bleachers witnessing a history,

so vibrantly enriched with creative intention.

An endless sizzle reel of brown voices, afros,

and bright customs that shine.

Memories that shimmer like the belting of church choirs,

rejoicing on Easter Sunday.

Fierce and bold voices—hootin’ n’ hollerin’ about

the luster, strength and tenacity of an enduring culture.

Shoutin’ octaves way above the mountains,

and over hilltops.      

Feet smashin’ on slabs of concrete, tribes steppin’

up and down the urban streets—parading around the

proof n’ the pudding of Black invention.

Like traffic signals, clocks, blues and ragtime jazz.

The imprints, footprints, and blueprints of a people

that will, forever last.

Bruthas and sistas, hootin’ n hollerin’ across city limits.

Tuttin’ n’ struttin’ down the boulevard—singin’ and

spreadin’ the news. Drumsticks crackling, trombones

blowing, and children goin’ “Pa rum pum pum pum.

With a cheery grin on my face, I took pop-pop’s hair

pick and combed in a forward motion.

Seeing stories of our future, the stronghold of our

endless devotion.

Michael B. Carroll Jr. is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Professional Studies (Health Science / Psychology dual minor). He is a native of Philadelphia, PA and has published creative work in The Esthetic Apostle Literary Magazine. Michael's work has also been featured in the inaugural issue of Cathexis Northwest Press in September 2018. His first chapbook "The Dichotomy Between Light and Dark" is slated to be released via The Poetry Box on 08.01.19. The title is now available for pre-order via their online bookstore at: https://thepoetrybox.com/bookstore/dichotomy. Mike currently enjoys singing, writing / composing music and pretending he's best friends with Joss Whedon. He can be found via instagram: @sirdukeofwagadu.

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July 2019

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