“Lordy Help ‘er!”

MatthewNaPoWriMo Day 26: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates a call and response. Calls-and-responses are used in many sermons and hymns (and also in sea chanties!), in which the preacher or singer asks a question or makes an exclamation, and the audience responds with a specific, pre-determined response. (Think: Can I get an amen?, to which the response is AMEN!.). You might think of the response as a sort of refrain or chorus that comes up repeatedly, while the call can vary slightly each time it is used.

I got trouble, trouble, trouble —
“Everything’s gonna be alright.”

I got man troubles, girl —
“Everything’s gonna be alright.”

I loved everything about him —
“Well?”

The heaven in his eyes —
“Well?”

The devil in his hands —
“Well?”

Got me going out of my head —
“Everything’s gonna be alright.”

Left me with nothing but questions —
“Everything’s gonna be alright.”

I need me a real man –- Can I get a witness?
“Amen.”

Matthew McConaughey?
“Alright, alright, alright!”

Tatum Channing?
“Preach it!”

[women wipe their brow with white handkerchiefs and wave them in the air]

Charlie Sheen?
“Oh hell no!”

~Just L (April 26, 2016)

A tongue-in-cheek mash up of an N.R. Hart poem, traditional responses of the African-American women in my former church, a bit of the blues, and a lot of fun.

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