Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

To Carolyn Bryant

Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

To Carolyn Bryant

Article excerpt

Riding your husband hard,

heels of hands pressing flour into biscuit,

new shoe blisters bubbling - your body

is no longer yours.

A child floats inside,

forming soft, blood-filled bone.

His is yours,

a floating, bloodless stone

at the bottom of the river.

Tied to a cotton gin fan with its slow turning blade.

Hands waving reeds;

the face with one eye swollen shut,

one open wide.

His flesh travels with you,

bobs with your swaying to "Ain't that a Shame",

and "Unchained Melody"; bounces

with your fall down

cement steps; changes as wind

changes your hair's direction.

His forming face the same as the one unformed

by your husband's hands. …

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