The Confederate phenomenon which unsettled my childhood
Seemed a non-event to all my Southern community
Who skimmed through lives of constant sunshine and inclusion
Where candid admission of a bad day
Was a simple sarcastic quip couched in a ubiquitous smile.
There was no room for full-throated discussion
Of robust weakness, inferiority, cruelty or failure
As the potential building blocks of a collective resilience.
The Southern way of never acknowledging defeat
Incessantly takes a blowtorch to metal bolts anchored in reality.
Reality is in the mind of the beholder.
The homogenized Southern response to even the hint of ugly truth hood
Is the scolding rejection of any modicum of inconsistency
With the tenaciously rooted Lie that is our Southern comfort,
Born of a sultry myth of perfection and honor
Which defiles precision in history and deplores fact.
Magical thinking was born here
To defy the culpability of all our Dixie selves
Who basked in the shade of the lynching tree
Claiming not to see it.
Only our pulchritudinous Southern grace
Tickles us, like the ocean breeze through Spanish moss.