About the South

Polka dots go there to be reborn under a dry sky
that relishes its deep knowledge of jay

and a carcass on the verge associates with vultures
under a storm of Kudzu vines, as barn cats writhe

and posture according to their calendar.
Polka dots go where corn knows the tribulation

of becoming hominy, where scattered tinfoil draws
a murder and its crows and mamma fries

the Sunday chicken, peppered, dipped in egg and flour,
as she sidesteps rumors of coon stew

served with pone, the scraps fed to more than one
kind of hound. Polka dots go where an honorific

loves its Christian name and history settles
on all of us like cotton dust on a picked field.

From Belle Rêve

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About the Author

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives and writes with both feet in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of four books: Reading Berryman to the Dog (2000), Discount Fireworks (2008), The Mercy of Traffic (2019) and On the Way to the Promised Land Zoo (2019) and five chapbooks.

Wendy Taylor Carlisle
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