— Peter Neil Carroll

It’s what you can’t see in Alabama,
a kid’s soccer ball hidden in the shed,
someone’s mama behind a curtain
waiting for sundown to go outside.

I hear the pickers fled the state,
fields red with broken tomatoes.
No cook to fry a taco—the white man
boarded up Rico’s Cantina.

After the preacher went, leaving
the Iglesias locked, thieves
stole a silver chalice, baffling police.
All the usual suspects had vanished.

One matinee features a civil rights
movie. When it goes dark at the end,
no one, white or not, leaves their seat.
No one wants to face the light.

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