by Joyce E. Latham
BORDER STATE OF MIND
To swaying tobacco flowers,
Sturdy corn platoons,
Grass made blue from lime
to realms of cloned homes--
Kentucky Landing, Monet
Gardens, Rabbit Run
Of Confederate auto plates or
bumper proverbs: ENJOY SMOKING;
MAKE GOD YOUR STEERING WHEEL,
NOT YOUR SPARE TIRE
Of horses, horses, magnificent
meat. Coffee, blue-black, chestnut.
Bred for callous play, their
delicate stems so freely snapped.
Of groaning boards: hoecake, corn
pudding, briney ham, see-through
pie, fried chicken to sin for.
Of bubba & blonde,
more bubba & blonde,
Never saw so many, marvels
a swarthy traveling friend.
Relentless Anglo-Saxon stock--
Mall-trotting, towheads in tow,
Crazed on basketball
Pruning their not-blue
All-you-can-eating at Shoney's.
Scots-Irish, too. Tough ones, those.
Urging into hollow and field,
to blue mountain and gray mine, to
marry cousins and fear all else.
Gritty, unhaltable. Talking nasal
more than southern. Moaning and
yelping the white man's blues.
Previously published in Poetry Motel
broadside series, 1994