Category: Poetry

Ann Fox Chandonnet – “Sapphic” – A Poem

Southern Legitimacy Statement:

My husband and I retired to Vale, North Carolina, five years ago. After more than three decades in Alaska, we wanted to find a spot to grow tomatoes and corn. We learned that digging into red dirt is like digging into concrete; I am now known for breaking shovels. Gardening in Southern weather, I also realized that my knees can actually sweat—a fact I was ignorant of before living here.

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Scott Owens – “I Would Not Deny It” – A Poem

Southern Legitimacy Statement:

To Be a Wrestler

Dusty from his last defeat
he rises from the mat,
screams defiance, spins
with flair around the ring,
grapples whatever dares
stand before him, runs,
jumps, flexes, flings
his body against the ropes,
locks legs, arms,
heads into submission.

Victorious he stands
in the center of the ring,
arm upraised, head
thrown back in laughter,
awaits the next challenger,
sees him, seizes him
by the throat, swaps chop
for chop, stroke for stroke,
staggers, falls, is raised
to the sky, dropped to the mat,
sat upon for the count
of one two three,
loses, leaves, already
planning his return, knowing
defeat is never final,
knowing tomorrow he can start
again, knowing even death
or disbarment demands
only another mask,
another outrageous name.

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Rose Auslander – “Hurricane Irene” – A Poem

Southern Legitimacy Statement:

I’m a Louisianan, once removed, from Shreveport—where sweating in the sun in the brambles behind my step-grandma’s backyard, gathering the wild strawberries that grew there, and stealing a few from my sweaty hands, from the batches meant for jam, was the most delicious thing ever.

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