Mid-season Crucible

Mid-season Crucible

Locked out in the Commons;

Squatted, shivering against

Ghostly patterings of seasonal flakes.

A maple tree leans over you,

Its ice-thin fingers fracturing the sky,

& chugs you across the Mason-Dixie Line.

To bony hands picking through

Sizzling seas of cotton stems.

A shadow descends upon these hands,

Animated by the Southern drawl

“Pick that cotton boy!”

& a crack like static discharge

That makes those hands contort & contract.

A searing sting chugs you back

To that same squat, shivering

Condition, that same place.

You wonder if there’s still family

In those post-Confederate states.

Stumbling up and forward

You pray you have enough to get

from Boyleston to South Station

& a Greyhound to Macon.

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