Worn Slap Out, a poem by Joni Caggiano at Spillwords.com
Wild Photo 1

Worn Slap Out

Worn Slap Out

written by: Joni Caggiano



Ms. Egret lay her scrawny neck upon my braless chest
Tears sting like chigger bites for her lonesome sorrow
White fluff, her hatchling falls over yonder from her nest
I’ll fetch her from between the cattails sun-up tomorrow

Ma is looking for my fresh-skinned catch, a small catfish
Hushpuppies nip and growl when they hit the sizzling lard
I’d be blowing away mosquitos, I reckon, if I had one wish
Or maybe living in high cotton where life won’t be so hard

Fixin to wash up with water at the neighbor’s new well
I’ve been hankering something fierce for a white lace dress
Ma be madder than a wet hen cuz of peas I didn’t shell
Mudbugs simmering in Ma’s sauce, she cooks the best

Tick crawling up my skinny leg, seeing his white spot
Ma smiling, rocking on the stoop, even though we dirt poor
She’s always telling me to be thankful for what we got
Gonna get some shut-eye cus, in dreams, even poor folk soar



When growing up, the first few years of my life, we lived on military bases and Southern slang was not used. When we moved to a very isolated town in the South, slang was common, and although this is not about my life, this is the way we all eventually spoke.

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