Durell Carter

This month, Durell Carter shares a tear-jerking poem with us. This poem moves in a way that invokes a glimpse into a childhood pressed against adulthood and the reflection of the two. Further, Mr. Carter adds:

“I Thought All Black Kids Grew Up with a Mr. Cooper” was inspired by my never having a Black teacher and how I feel like it impacted me as a student. I truly believe schools need to have Black representation in their buildings.”

I Thought All Black Kids Grew Up with a Mr. Cooper
Or with a suit-wearing mentor like Steve Harvey.
Someone that occasionally smelt the like the good
Brown liquor you can’t find in Wal-Mart today.
A man that was not my family, but would
Teach me that last names, DNA, and fingerprints
Are subjective, and that I’m strong enough to
Not let attenuated hallways devour me.
I’ve had pieces of my soul taken from me,
Gifted to people that can moonwalk in classrooms,
Grow up and suspend Jerome for doing the same thing.
I’ve been hit by lightning before the sound of thunder
And they mistook my pain for the violence
They prayed to see in me.
I washed the dirt off my psyche with
Soil and my grandfather’s stories
Of Nostalgia, and all of her beautiful lies.


Durell Carter is a teacher and a poet based out of Oklahoma. He just recently finished working on his graduate degree in Literature at the University of Central Oklahoma. He has had poetry published in Prometheus
Dreaming, Petrichor Journal, From Whispers to Roars, and Tempered Runes Press.