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.