A Poem for the South

photo 2“If you grow up in the South, it really makes a mark on you. You might not feel at home there, but it’s hard to feel at home anywhere else.” Alan Jacobs

“I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted.” Flannery O’Connor


Dogwood signs of cruciform glory,

Revealing the depths of joy & grief in a redemption story.

Spanish moss hanging from the trees,

While everyone goes to the Church house struggling to believe.


Old cars in the yard and waterfowl in the lake,

Revealing a simpler way- life and marriage, then funerals/wakes

Open roads and closed mouths for saying grace,

Lamenting the changes of Adam’s race.


photo 1Days celebrated on the river and hiking the Appalachian foothills,

Exploring old paths, mountains, abandoned factories and mills.

Long sweltered days spent fishing alongside grandma’s chair,

Not knowing why purple is the new color of her hair.

Barns full of kingly beasts and creatures begging for grain,

Leaving pennies, quarters, and nickels to be flattened by the train.

A community to hold you, cry with, and just to caress,

Saying goodbye to friends, family, and strangers in your Sunday best.


Saturdays full of homemade chicken and Momma’s cakes and pies,

Waiting for the folks to come over to tell all the truth and some lies.

The teachers, deacons, mayors, and mailmen all known by first name,

Shooting off bottle rockets in the summer without getting maimed.


photo 3A gentle smile and a how are you? as you walk down the street,

Panting and sweating while playing football in the heat.

A history full of faces, names, accents, and back roads not paved,

Seeking to honor and preserve what ought to be saved.


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