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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

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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