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Why Grits Burn So Bad

As I make a late breakfast,

my 8-year-old cheers

@ the promise of grits. Surely

there is a little Southern woman

in her soul. You wonder

how grits could ever

be a weapon, flung

hard from the hand

of a lover scorned, the way

the grains wrap & cling, refuse

to be lonely. All that flesh she loved

burning now, past simmer, full

on boil. I can only feel sorry

for the Reverend, any note

he ever sang pale

in the company

of hot warble. I spoon

a healthy portion

on my daughter’s plate

& shiver. If

you reached the end of this poem

& all you can say is, “Shouldn’t it be

‘Badly,’ not ‘Bad’?

I bet

you’ve never been loved.

from dying in the scarecrow’s armsFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2018
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Mitchel L.H. Douglas Poems

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