Southern Legitimacy Statement: I’ve swallowed moonshine and lived to brag about it; escaped a copperhead’s randy tongue; ridden a tobacco setter … More
Southern Legitimacy Statement river town sleepy town cajuncreole spicy foods filé gumbo sultry air pop guns china berry trees joie … More
Southern Legitimacy Statement: There is a warmness to the South. Beyond the obvious, the steamy summers and Goddawful humidity, its … More
SLS: Though I was not born or raised in the South, I have lived in Georgia, Texas, and in North … More
Southern Legitimacy Statement: I hereby swear that I love my MaMaw and see her about once a year. I know … More
SLS – I’ve swallowed moonshine and lived to brag about it; escaped a copperhead’s randy tongue; ridden a tobacco setter … More
Southern Legitimacy Statement: I’m from a small town just outside Cowtown (Fort Worth to those who don’t know better), with white gravel roads that claimed my front teeth one time and the skin off my knees and hands a few more times. I’m from a place that meant running around with no shirt or shoes from May to September, trips to Mott’s 5 and 10, and visits to grandma down around Houston to work the fields, each her famous drop cookies, and help her cook pie or cobbler or wild grape jelly. Dad was a cop and mom stayed home, and I’m still close by, though the town has changed and the light in town has a few new friends and a new toll road for competition. The fire department closest is still volunteer and football will always be king on Friday night.
I am from Southside Virginia, where Virginia and North Carolina meet in a red dirt tangle of back roads and … More
My bio is simple: every dirt road in Lexington County has blood on it. I was born from that blood. I was born southern to a fading fall of split chins, calluses, and hog killing; every pine tree has my face on it. I didn’t grow up with poetry in my house, so I stole it. I carry the scar of South Carolina on my left knee.
In my hometown, most of the farms were already ruined before I got there. We grew pot in the chicken houses, mixed mash behind the junk yard, shot wild dogs. This was long before mobile meth labs, long before we defiled ourselves with cornbread and copper wiring. And I always wanted more from boiled peanuts.
I don’t want to be defined beyond a history that is not mine. I am not the story of every kid who punched back the dust, pulled up re-election signs, and threw bricks through school windows. I am not the story of every broken bottle on the straw. I am the straw.
Southern Legitimacy Statement
Ma-Ma would take Bo and me digging for sassafras roots in the woods next door. She would boil the roots and then we would drink the hot “tea” ’cause Aint Essie said it would keep ya reglar.”She stopped a horse from bleedin’, ya know? Tom Waters brought his horse over, pourin’ blood outa his neck. Aint Essie went ’round the back of the house and when she come back, that horse ‘ad stopped bleedin’.”
We dug potatoes, too. She had on her lipstick and floral print dress. As soon as we came out of the garden, she put her heels back on – black patent leather – and put the potatoes on to boil. “We havin’ old timey pataters and lemon marengue pie.” She watched wrestling while she ironed the sheets.
Then she took me over to Aint Correll’s. We were going to get my wart taken off. I was five. We drove round a dirt driveway up to a little house and an old man came out. Flowers everywhere and trees and a bench swing hanging on a rusty old swing set. They talked a minute and then he gently asked me to go sit with him on the swing. He held a leaf in his hand, twirling it round between his finger and thumb. “Suzan, this hyere’s a peach leaf. Come off ‘at peach tree righttare.” Silence. “D’you b’lieve I can take off that wort from your hand, thare?” “Yessir” “Well, hold out chur hand and lemme just rub this leaf hyere on yer wort, like this. See. Now, when you wake up tomorra, yur wort’s gonna be gone. D’you b’lieve me, Suzan?” “Yessir.”
My wort was gone the next day.
I think my southern legitimacy is evident!