by Nate Marshall
for the purposes of this story let’s say
turn of the 20th century my great
grandfather Marshall disappeared
so thorough i don’t know what he looks like.
so let’s say he’s super high yellow
so much so maybe he’s swarthy
if he stays out of sun & so
in this story he drops my grandpops
& then pulls out of Mississippi to step west
& stretch his legs as a white man.
so let’s say he has a whole white
family with a little boy.
& let’s say he overcorrects
‘cause he knows the color
the boy carries without knowing
so he tells the little boy
we don’t associate with those people
& that little boy has a whole lineage
who don’t talk to those people.
maybe the name Marshall is just a passing
story we’ll never uncover. maybe he secret
Black like a Hollywood actor. but maybe
he knows & wants his name back
& his body too.
Poem copyright 2019 by Nate Marshall. All rights reserved.
See more poems from Nate Marshall debuted on The Fight & The Fiddle: “another Nate Marshall origin story” and “Nate Marshall is a white supremacist from Colorado or Nate Marshall is a poet from the South Side of Chicago or i love you Nate Marshall.”