There’s only a trace of drawl left in my voice,
Unless I’m very tired,
But it’s enough to perk up the ears of folks on the west coast.
Folks who then feel free to ask,
“Is what I saw on the news true?”
“Did you vote for that guy?”
“Aren’t you glad you escaped those loons?”
And no matter how many stories I tell about country dawns,
Buttermilk biscuits, kindness and Southern charm,
Or cardinals flitting around the porch,
I am forced to admit the racist uncle trope
Did not spring from the ground without cause.
And that just under the veneer of hospitality
Burbles a history of ugly hostility,
That Southerners must tangle with daily
Lest we lose our souls.
I have spent years of days explaining the unexplainable
Stupefied by the unforgivable,
And trying to show by example
“We’re not all like that.”
Karen Southall Watts is teaching, writing, and reinventing her life. Her flash fiction and poetry have been featured at Fairfield Scribes, Free Flash Fiction, The Drabble, Sledgehammer Lit, 101Words, Soren Lit and The Chamber Magazine. She is also the author of several business books and articles. Karen is a 2021 Pushcart nominee.