Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Ann Fisher-Wirth: Mississippi Delta. Homecoming Parade

 

We’re hanging out in Greenwood

for the weekend, and while reading

in Turnrow Books I hear the bbbrrrrmmmm

.

of drums. It’s the Amanda Elzy High School

homecoming parade, 98%

African American, the bookstore owner

.

says, and he says the schools are so poor

they took their kids and moved to Grenada.

From the curb we watch the parade, my husband

.

and I—the sequined dancers twirling

lackadaisically, the bright gold tubas

and rows and rows of coordinated drums,

.

especially one chubby boy not in uniform

who hugs his drum like a bear and pounds it

so hard his whole body shakes. Miss Anatomy

.

and Physiology, Miss Life Skills,

Miss Business Sense, Miss Physical Processes,

and all the other girls including one

.

whose sign says First Alternate, ride

on the roofs of cars, legs stretched out or tucked

through sunroofs—they are dolled up in tiaras,

.

in ruffled chiffon or satin ballgowns,

and mostly they don’t acknowledge our presence,

but a few smile the beauty queen smile,

.

and wave the beauty queen wave. Little brothers

and sisters, shadowy in back seats,

press their faces against the windows.

.

Each girl has an escort beside her on the roof.

Most are cast in shadow by their resplendent

partners, but one guy dressed in white

.

from hat to suit to spotless shoes,

whose partner is a matronly girl in coral,

lounges diagonally across the hood

.

of a slowly growling Chevy, perfectly

motionless, claiming the day, cocked

on an elbow like the Sheik of Araby.

Copyright 2015 Ann Fisher-Wirth

tcljsuhomecoming03

Jackson State University’s “The Sonic Boom of the South” marches during the school’s homecoming parade. 
(Photo: Greg Jenson/The Clarion-Ledger)

2 comments on “Ann Fisher-Wirth: Mississippi Delta. Homecoming Parade

  1. Pingback: Ann Fisher-Wirth: Mississippi Delta. Homecoming Parade | cuprodotme

  2. Pingback: Ann Fisher-Wirth: Mississippi Delta. Homecoming Parade | arbima

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This entry was posted on December 10, 2015 by in Poetry, Social Justice and tagged .

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