Poetry Month 2023 Post #29: “Mississippi”

April is #NationalPoetryMonth and I am posting a Poem-A-Day. I wrote this poem after a trip to Mississippi after my mom’s death to visit the grave of my sister and my grandparents and great grandparents and cousins. And to honor my mom’s memory and the ancestors there.


You are not easy to get to
long roads, live-oak concealed
weeping canopies swaddling
roads haunted by sweltering
memories and days lost,
family faded, jaded,
dilapidated. You hold blood
fables, moaning in starlight
Homes built, lived in, died in
The ruins of a faulty
foundation. Echoes of sweet
turns of phrase, stories of us,
laughter, family, names
that no one else can believe.
The portal, the vortex of
being swathed in your feverish
solar system captivates and
capsizes all at once.
You are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers.
You are porches and tree frogs, cicadas
and sweet tea. You are small
bottles of coke and tomato aspic.
You are the shame of
the madness of supremacy
You are the lost people, the
lost cities, the lost sturdiness,
the lost joy.
And yet, you are home—
one that can never be
one that will always be
beyond and underground.
My mother’s ashes and
my sister’s tiny bones
together and so far away.

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