Romella Kitchens

(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Mr.Mack's


Cobblestones and red bricks.
Orphaned branches brushing our arms.
When I was little, going
to the candy store in our
neighborhood meant everything.

It was owned by a very light skinned
Black man named “Mr. Mack.”
He told jokes. He was kind. He was laughter.
He folded the top of the little brown
bags down as if there was gold inside.
This was where I practiced saying,
“Thank you” and “Please.”
He took phone calls from mother’s
anxious to know, did we count our own
money? Did we check our change? Were we
polite?
Ju-ju beans, Mary Janes, Charms lollipops,
Toostsie rolls, fu-man chu gum, ice cream
and soda pop, orange juice, milk
the race home smiling, holding hands.
As a child, I felt spiritual, knew spiritual.
As an adult, all we have to do is maintain it.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

All youth has turbulence to it. But, I grew up in the era of the assassination of Martin Luther King and of my older brother marching for civil rights. I was rather young to understand all things but many were quite real to me. Still, there was also joy within childhood...Smooth, endless Summers, silky rain. I am sharing a 'joy story' with you.

Comments about this poem (Mr.Mack's by Romella Kitchens )

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  • Gajanan Mishra (4/17/2013 6:17:00 AM)

    neighborhood meant everything. good write. thanks.
    I invite you to read my poems and comment. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

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