August 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
Before daddy left, he gave mama
a brand-new feed sack dress, and planted
one last crop; I was her, ‘God’s Perfect
Number,’ the seventh heavenly stair step
to kick at her backbone, breeched, then
brought by a poor white trash midwife.
That year, our windmill huffed the horse
trough full of mule dust, and the persimmon
cheeks hollowed in early September.
A field of bluebells captured an awol rebel
sun shower, then flanked a hackberry column
on the north fence line, and drank the rest
of the water. The old southern gentry had long
since vanished, but only rich white folks could
book space on the ‘Glory Train.’ Martin wasn’t
born yet, so the saints weren’t marchin’ in.
Daddy left us south of the Mason-Dixon Line
in a cottonwood sharecropper shanty, squat
over the scratch dirt where an overseer’s
pointer pup itched his worms. He’d hung
a Rainbow Bread sign on our screen door
to set it apart from the trees. I grew up along
the Yazoo, where roly polys pushed each
other across farmed out river bottom flatland,
and ebony ivories still harped on ‘Delta Blues.’
Yazoo was previously published in Tidal Basin Review
Pushcart Prize nominee Kevin Heaton writes in South Carolina. His work has appeared in a number of publications including: Raleigh Review, Mason’s Road, Foundling Review, The Honey Land Review, and elimae. His fourth chapbook of poetry, Chronicles, has just been released by Finishing Line Press. He is a 2011 Best of the Net nominee.
Image: Mood of the Meadow, By Stephen Martin