Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sit for a spell

Sit for a spell

Tennessee has incoming
tides of oak trees,
crazy abandoned fields
where the devil loves to swear,
insincere Autumns past and future,
but never present.

Gossip lateralis on Grannys’ tongues
remnant of cotton pickin’ potato
mornin’s birthed of rocks and
defeated red earth,
some sort of American women
wedged between wood
stoves and salty pink dresses.

Tennessee in the summertime
is nothing but humid: They
call it as they see it, these matron
satellites of folklore and spitfire.

If you see them cussin’ with their
carous teeth, you’ll feel all right
because there’s no hesitation.
You can’t refuse a choice that
was never yours—their mommas
said choose a boy in the spring
while you’re green.

Snap his heart in two.

God is love and there is a plan:
Their men are all buried
under crunchy frozen winter
ground, but Tennessee Grannys’ still
feel like a blend of poppies and willow
bark, still smell like magnolia
leaves and baled hay.

With hints of gold on their faces,
they are cosmic and blind,
filled with insight that can stab for miles.
Jennifer Hollie Bowles is the editor of The Medulla Review, and her writing has been accepted for publication in a variety of literary journals, such as Oak Bend Review, The New York Quarterly, Thieves Jargon, blossombones, and The Ampersand Review.