An earlier version of this poem appeared in Deep South Magazine on April 1, 2016
Double Thoughts on Dixie
I bet you do, Dixie. I bet you wanna
look away. Past Little Rock Central,
past Wallace and the Klan.
Past that flag your county fair t-shirt
insists is history, not hate.
Old times not forgotten?
Slavery, dogs and hoses - look away -
look away down south
past the past which didn’t die
when Lee surrendered his sword
Dixie, you are your past
and your future. So don’t fret.
I’m here to praise, not bury
and I’ll never look away.
Not until Memphis stops rocking
and the Mississippi stops rolling.
See, I love
like the mouths of 72,000 hog callers
or 102,455 Rocky Toppers.
Give me a flooded timber delta sunrise
with ducks circling the hole.
Give me a gravel road cut through cotton fields.
Give me a rack of dry-rubbed baby backs
with a side of Nascar’s boogity, boogity, boogity.
Give me you, Dixie.
but don’t tell me to look away.