We left behind the cactus and the quiet moss already echoing in the early morning We are sailing
back into war into the flags I watched my grandfather treasure into the closing courts the righteous rage When you and I met we said in harmony I am never going back I can never go back My tongue remembers folding and fuming and bleeding between my teeth My jaw remembers wiring shut the fear of being found out fear I was not devout the way they wanted
Now we are devout in this our bodies are home and the West has trained our mouths to cradle a voice Let these bodies know they can speak the landscapes carved into our calves will sing louder than the roots we fear will never change
2 thoughts on “On Moving Back South”
There are so many layers of awesomeness to this poem. I’m a fugitive from the South, too, and can deeply empathize with the strained relationship as seen through the multiple dichotomies important to me, from feminism to conservativism and erudition versus experience, as well as science versus religion. I’ve written (mostly fiction) of having to apply a poultice to myself to heal the racism of my forebears, and, as such, getting out of the South was one of the best things for me to do to advance that, for my own self. Anyway, enough rambling. A fabulous poem, of obvious skill.