About the South

Polka dots go there to be reborn under a dry sky
that relishes its deep knowledge of jay

and a carcass on the verge associates with vultures
under a storm of Kudzu vines, as barn cats writhe

and posture according to their calendar.
Polka dots go where corn knows the tribulation

of becoming hominy, where scattered tinfoil draws
a murder and its crows and mamma fries

the Sunday chicken, peppered, dipped in egg and flour,
as she sidesteps rumors of coon stew

served with pone, the scraps fed to more than one
kind of hound. Polka dots go where an honorific

loves its Christian name and history settles
on all of us like cotton dust on a picked field.

From Belle Rêve

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About the Author

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of four books, including, The Mercy of Traffic, winner of the Phillip H. McMath 2020 Post-Publication Award and five chapbooks. Her work appears in Atlanta Review, Mom Egg Review, pacificREVIEW and this spring Doubleback Books reprinted her 2008 book, Discount Fireworks as a free download.