Playing with buttons
on the radio
one station then another
A gospel station
a choir, a beautiful rendition
of an old gospel song,
I realize this is a new station
young radio announcers.
Another choir, I feel like it’s
just what I needed,
salvation, redemption, mercy
grace, holiness, praise, psalms,
glory, dispensation, that
God shapes space coming alive.
The next day I tune in
there’s a commentary
some group stole the election.
The problem with Black people.
Standing up for America, love America
straight outta self righteous Memphis
My insides sort of crumble
a disappointment in discouragement
a repeat of history in the making
state rights, the reinstitution of slavery
birth of the Klan, birth of a nation
the Dead Scott Decision
the Black Codes, Jim Crow
the crowds gathered to
witness the lynchings
and the next day attend
a prayer meeting, church service.
Charles Blackwell is a nationally and internationally published poet who lives in Oakland.