Poem by Mike Kellin


My name is Hartman Turnbow
And I belong to me
I live in Mississippi down in Holmes County.
There are bullet holes in my front door
They set my house on fire,
But I'm going to vote this fall
Because it's freedom I desire.

Last spring I went to register,
To cast my one man vote.
They called me boy,
Said tip your hat, but that didn't get my goat;
But come the next morning when the clock was striking 3:00
I heard this noise, and I saw this fire,
And I knew they'd come for me.

My name is Hartman Turnbow
Now, down in delta country,
We got no running water,
So my missus drew some buckets
And she passed them to my daughter
While I greeted my guests with buckshot
Until the 4 of them drove away.
Then I went to the sheriff as soon as it was day.
He said, "boy, you're a liar".
He said Hartman Turnbow had set my own house on fire.
He threw me in the jailhouse,
but he had to set me free.
'cause there is law in this here country, and that means liberty.

My name is Hartman Turnbow,
I still won't bow and shuffle when I come to town.
My mind is set on voting,
they ain't going to scare me down.
I've been to Atlantic City as a Freedom Democrat.
If they tip their hat to me, then I'll tip my hat.
My name is Hartman Turnbow.

Copyright © Mike Kellin, all rights reserverd.

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