Merry Old Month of May: 17-South

Daily Prompt:  South


You’re speaking my language, y’all;

sweet tea and lightning bugs,

thundershowers and creaky porch rocker,

screen door slap and a neighbor’s distant rock and roll,

cicada whirr and I can’t get enough too hot to move

and please God send a breeze

and oh there’s the rain

but not for long

and the fan I sleep directly in front of

in tank top and part sheet for safety

is not enough,

and my bones bleed watershed green

and sweet tea brown…


but tonight I’m arguing with a student,

via Facebook mail,

about the relevance of history,

as he struggles to write a paper

about “nazi chic” in Asia,

dismissing it as “so what,”

and I wonder how I have failed as a teacher,

and I fight a frenzied battle

using my best logic and passion,

along with the history of the French baguette,

and my bones bleed tainted Southern blood

of a tainted Southern past

that some of my relatives still laugh about…


and I long for Southern pure

and there never is any,

and I’ve had enough sweet tea for the evening,

and I’ll lie wide awake

and stare at the high ceiling

and yearn for a cleansing southern rain.


lightning bug jar

Photo credit: jamelah via / CC BY-NC-ND

lightning bug hand

Photo credit: theloushe via / CC BY-NC-ND




For the month of May, I will be posting something (mostly) daily, namely some kind of respond to The Daily Post’s daily prompt or some other prompt, unless a poem or post visits me of its own accord, unbidden and welcomed.

6 thoughts on “Merry Old Month of May: 17-South

  1. Oh, I do miss Virginia at times, and thanks to you, I went there for awhile. I miss our back porch guitar and banjo sessions, catching lightning bugs and keeping them in Mason jars as a night light and letting them go in the morning, walking barefoot in the grass, and drinking sweet tea from a sweating glass. I need to make some sun tea today, I guess.

  2. Oh man. Though I can’t really claim a southern heritage, the part of my heart I left in Oklahoma just skipped a few beats. I can hear those cicadas and taste the sweet tea sliding down my parched throat.

  3. “and I long for Southern pure
    and there never is any”

    I love that line (nearly as much as I detest sweet tea, actually). As for the lightning bugs, aren’t they magical little beings? While we have them where I live, the best show I’ve seen by far was in rural Tennessee. What beautiful word pictures you paint.

  4. I wish the For Dummies books made one on how to respond to good poetry because when I read yours I always think Oh yes, or Mmmmm, or How Lovely, and otherwise I don’t know how to adequately express how great these are. Took me right there with you, though, and I must have sweet tea now.

Overheard at a kiln: "The main teaching of all religions is, don't be a dick." You heard the man--comment away, know...

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