this land is your land, this land is my land
this land of lies and death march
seven votes shy of becoming home
for all freed africans. the founding
outlaws of oklahoma went to roosevelt
drunk on statehood. teddy said yes if no
jim crow. in november 1907 the forty-sixth.
by mid december, senate bill one, jane and
jim crow walk arm in arm down bitter
streets in tulsa, jackson, atlanta, new orleans
wichita, baltimore, little rock, st. louis,
charleston, dallas, louisville, memphis
selma. a legislated hate. a literacy test.
a poll tax. a photo ID. a nothing new. bull
connors’s grandkids meet at election integrity
group parties, slang for white citizen’s councils
drink tea with their whiskey, load guns.
we are at the pettus again & again & again &
we are a teacher unemployed for registering
students, we are the over employed weekend
voter, we are the solo mami’s & papi’s
who struggle with the machinery, not the process
we are we are two-thousand chicago
precinct judges answering a robo-call telling
them not to report for work. fraud is in the eye
of the beholder, that permanent marker of lines
we cannot see because they are clear. are we
medgar, mary, chaney, goodman, schwerner?
it is 1965. it is 2015. we are on the bridge.
(Image credit: 'Two-minute warning,' by IIP Photo Archive, via flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)