Harold's Chicken Shack #1

   i was born by a lake, chicken shack,
                                                & a church
                 — 
Common, “The Morning”

1st defense against food deserts.
when the whitefolk wouldn't sling
us burgers you gave no fuck.
stuck your golden-ringed hand
into the flour & fixed the bird.

you 1st example of black flight.
original innovation of deep fry.
you beef tallow, city slick
& down home migration taste.

of course your sauce sweet
& burn at the same time.
of course you call it mild
so whitefolk won't know
to fear until it's too late.

you no corporate structure,
just black business
model. they earn the recipe
& go make it their own.

every cut of crow you
throw in the grease is dark
meat. the whole shack:
shaking, drenched in mild
sauce, sweet spirit, baptized.

Nate Marshall, "Harold’s Chicken Shack #1" from Wild Hundreds. Copyright © 2015 by Nate Marshall. Reprinted by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.
Source: Wild Hundreds (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015)
More Poems by Nate Marshall