Peter Neil Carroll
You know where you stand in Mississippi
Outside the capitol, white marble honors
Our Mothers, Daughters, Wives, Sisters,
ladies of a Confederacy.
Senator James Eastland Courthouse salutes
an ornament of bigotry and injustice.
On a dark street, a neon bus flashes
pink, marks the spot,
mobs attacking Freedom Rides.
They name the reservoir shimmering
in early sun for Governor Barnett, lover
of segregation, who let billy clubs rain.
There’s peace in the streets.
School bells invite students inside,
black ones know to follow.
Peter Neil Carroll is the author of a new collection of poetry, A Child Turns Back to Wave: Poetry of Lost Places (Press Americana, 2012) which won the Prize Americana from the Institute for American Popular Culture. A previous volume is Riverborne: A Mississippi Requiem (2008). His poems have appeared recently or a forthcoming in Southern Humanities Review, Turtle Island Quarterly, HEArt Journal Online, Sand Hill Review, Poetry Bay, and, Written Rivers: A Journal of Eco-Poetics. He lives in northern California.