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Updated: Aug 21, 2020


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.

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