Say Carolina

Say Carolina

For My Palmetto State
After Rita Dove

Nothin finer than a tea drunk gurl
raised on peaches sugah honey chile & y’all
Nothin finer than her palmetto & crescent moonshine
pinched and dangling on each ear
Nothin finer than her sass
her sweet potato thick waist
spreading from Low Country to Upstate
bible belt cinched and clinched
sportin 47 patches that work
a rice cotton & tobacco shimmy
from sun up to sundown

Carolina’s hot
& cotton’s supposed to let you breathe
but under her honeysuckle & jasmine print skirt
all you feel is the burn of 9000 ebony fires
& Denmark Vesey leading the charge
whispering in quilt-stitch code
for a stolen people to rise up
sharpen their dreams
and fly

Carolina’s a gumbo
sweet grass grace mixed with old money
Look down her cobblestone roads
laced with Spanish moss You feel the worlds
between the worlds Rainbow row colors
blending with auction block songs Part the veils
but don’t get too close to her port waters
even if you know how to swim cause

Carolina’s deep
She’s a complicated Lady
look beyond the magnolias and mint juleps
she all plantation upfront & Middle Passage baggage behind
She’s had a hard time carrying the weight
but Carolina don’t care cause she the bomb
all muskets & cannons when she lifts her skirt
Shoot Carolina will blow your mind
with the twisted & strange fruit
she both bears & wears
Say it again Carolina don’t care
She done acquired the taste,
you can tell how she walks & talks
she likes how it hangs

Glenis Redmond

2 Responses to “Say Carolina”
  1. maiasong says:

    I enjoyed sitting a spell in your Carolina breeze…

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