She didn’t think herself a racist. She’d had black school friends, worked with black women at the restaurant, and watched Oprah daily.
But when her seven-year-old, white daughter brought... [+]
Says the sign
Beneath the mossy oaks
Of Alligator Swamp,
Bone-white and python-thick,
Twist up the naked trunks
Of drowned pines,
And boiled peanuts
Sell at the stand
Outside the Tae-Kwon-Do
And Hypnosis store.
Black buzzards wheel in flight,
Eagle-like but buzzards still,
But the Short-Stop café,
Without public restrooms,
Won’t sell quarters to buy the news.
At the Temple of Refuge’s spotty lot
The Bibleway bicycle yard sale thrives,
While up Honey Pot Road
The Middle-Swamp Baptist Church
Hosts “Swampfest 2003”
Spread-legged and dangling
From a front yard tree
A two-point buck, hoisted there
By a John Deere, nods knowingly
Toward a tire swing.
And cotton fields at 40 mph
Blur to pointillist prints
Of white blops and mahogany slashes,
Punctuated by family plots
Where the long-and-displaced dead
Rock to the traffic’s rumble.