Roll Call for Michael Brown


It will happen,

an honest mistake

in a hot August classroom.

Someone will blink

at the name and swear this

“Michael Brown” can’t be

that “Michael Brown.” Or someone

will be too busy with her head down

finishing syllabi to look up and see the flash

grenades and tear

gas. Someone will be running

late, his mind on the cops

that will probably ticket him

for not having a permit.

Someone won’t see why a name

is such a big deal. Someone will

read his name like the next item on a list

of groceries and move to the next student

before the first groan rumbles

through the stale Missouri air.

Someone will start to speak

his name and then cover his mouth

like a Roman priest closing Janus’s door

and praying all the violence of the world will stop

short of his porch. Someone will ask,

“Michael Brown? Is Michael Brown here?”

and we will all have to answer.

Poets Respond
August 17, 2014


Jason McCall: “This poem was inspired by the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teen killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri. His death is one of the many recent cases of unarmed black males dying at the hands of police officers. He was scheduled to begin the college this semester.”


By avoiceinramah

Following The Way. Wife, Mom, Pastor, RevSisterGirlfriend, Advocate. Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman. I believe another world is possible.

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