The Roll Call

Any half-decent rapper
Can conjure the dead,

Can reach into graves
And accuse God

Of Indian-giving.
The trick is ancestral,

No more magic than memory’s
Hidden strings & chains.

Trust me,
We haven’t forgotten a name.

Say them. Raise your hands.
Holler at me!

Thomas Sayers Ellis, “The Roll Call” from The Maverick Room. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Sayers Ellis. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press.
Source: The Maverick Room (Graywolf Press, 2005)
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