Brenda Butka: April, Taylor Hollow

Southern Legitimacy Statement: So. My husband once bought four hams from a man in Kentucky who can no longer enter his hams in the State Fair because no one else can win. Husband sold one ham to a psychiatrist friend, who gave it to Wendell Berry. There is no point to this story, nor to any of the many we tell.

April, Taylor Hollow

Leafing out, the trees blur in green mist,

celandine poppies bright fingerprints

at their feet. The persistent creek has hollowed dips,

roundels, arches into the limestone floor.

Waterleaf, twinleaf, spring beauties wander beside

blueeyed Mary, larkspur.

The trout lilies are mostly gone,

Jacobs-ladder has not yet arrived,

seersucker sedge returning, green fists

knocking along the slopes.


The pickup truck is stuck,

mud to the hubs,

at the bottom of the hill, and the guys

turn up late, raucous,

bat away the big dog, shuck

their dirty boots at the door, rattle the refrigerator for a beer.

No one wants to leave this talk

about tractors, drag chains, Buddha in Texas,

exactly when that shotgun was fired into the air,

the first hummingbird of the year, that time

the symphony conductor, a glorious specimen himself,

called you a bon vivant, how to identify

wakerobins, their three purple hands

folded, as in prayer–

not in belief, not in supplication–

simply a statement of

how things are.

Written by

Dead Mule Staff