You May Choose

Selma, Alabama | Google Maps

You may choose
To sleep in on a Tuesday
Roll late out of bed when you hear your sister call,
saying what you doing girl—don’t you know what’s on about?
you may never get to say no
you may have yourself a daddy-man
you may be sick, you may be poor
you may have nothing left to give, and still you have to give it all
it ain’t up to you.
Only thing you got, Child
is one day to use your voice
better use it while you can.
Raise your voice.
Catch a ride uptown
or even take the bus
or walk it, if you must,
even barefoot and pregnant, with a child on each arm.
Send them to wait in the vestibule
while you do it.
Then you go inside
sign your name and show your picture
and walk into the voting both where
You. May. Choose.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

As of today’s writing, women in Alabama can still vote.

29 Comments

  1. A powerful voice, Karen, hoping somebody to find their voice. Like it, and your new style of storytelling.

    Like

    1. Thanks Kelvin, I’m glad you liked it.

      Like

  2. Yep, that’s a good one. Powerful without overwhelming

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. I was trying to hit the right not and gratified to hear it worked for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A message for the locals,to get off their behinds, pay attention and do what’s important, that resonates in this country (the US) as well. Love the chiding voice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! No should be complacent if they have a voice in government.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How embarrassing. Thought we were in Madagascar still. It’s been a crazy week!

    Selma makes more sense with your piece, since so much was done by MLK’s movement, to protest and overturn the oppressive voter suppression tactics, used by whites against blacks. And the young need to be reminded that those privileges, now acknowledged as rights, were not handed over on a silver platter, but pried from unwilling hands.

    As for today’s Alabama–stop stealing headlines, that rightly belong to Florida! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries Andrea. I was a little confused with the first comment and now it makes sense!

      We cannot be complacent. It’s easy to forget these rights have not been around for long. Women in the US earned the vote less than 100 years ago. And voter suppression and gerrymandering continue to this day.

      What is going on in Florida? I mean besides the antics of Florida Man, who seems to pull some new and crazy stunt every day. 😉 Just kidding… I see there were hacked voting machines?! Yikes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup. Just the Russians. Nothing to worry about. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lol, is that all? Nothing to see here, everyone move along.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Really powerful. I like your use of repetition and the way you play with meter. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly.

      Like

  6. lillmcgill

    I REALLY liked it. Actually thought of posting it on Facebook.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m really glad you liked it. I had a feeling you would.

      Like

  7. I absolutely love where you went with this! Perfect tone and, yes, meter…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thanks so much Dale! Glad it hit the spot I was aiming for 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I use to get on the elevator with a man each morning who would say, “I wish I didn’t have to go to work today.” One day I looked at him, “You don’t.” He looked back and said, “What?” I said, “You get to choose any one day not to go to work. After that, they may choose to fire you, but you do get to choose once.” He never rode the elevator again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great story. I hope he took up surfing and spends his evenings sipping rum drinks while making wood carvings. Which come to think of it, sounds like a great idea 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting, Scott.

      Like

  9. This is fabulous, Karen. Very well done! There are choices that should never be taken for granted, or they might be taken. Away.

    Like

    1. So true Na’ama! Thanks for reading and thanks for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 My pleasure!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. The right to vote is a powerful thing. This piece has great emotion and strength of purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Voting is indeed a powerful thing!

      I got so busy the past couple of days I’m just now remembering you couldn’t find a photosphere this week, which is a bummer. I hope you find some time to feed the muse in some other way. All work and no play, as they say…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, it gave me a chance to write a flash fiction story for Sunday Photo Fiction, which I’ve been neglecting even worse than Pegman.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Super! I will look for it.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This was such a powerful read

    WPS RIP

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and then leave such a heart-warming comment. I’m glad you liked it.

      Like

  12. Oh, wow! That is possibly the best story/poem of yours that I’ve read. You made me think, “I wish I could write like that!”
    The voice is wonderful – I can hear it spoken by a person of colour even though you haven’t tried to represent the spoken sounds literally – which was a great call. Just the rhythm of the words gives everything you need.
    It’s an oblique take on the struggle for the right to vote, and it’s really emotionally involving.

    Like

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