You Live “There” (Inspired by Sandra Cisneros’ House on Mango Street)

There-

Mississippi.

Land of the Grand Ole Dixie

a tall glass of sweet iced tea

hot bowls of gumbo with a dab of hot sauce

and don’t forget a yes ma’am here

and a no ma’am there.

the land where the sun blisters your back

and the salt from the gulf reeks

in your nose and

the seafood is just too good to be true.

So much pride to be a Southern Belle

a Mississippi Gal

yet bearing the haunting images of your ancestors being

beaten, worked, and raped

to death

on this same, glorious soil.

Oh!

to be a southern belle

is to know your heritage and to take pride

in it anyway.

As I sit beside the bayou

salty winds whipping my face

I can’t help but picture my beautiful ancestors

bent beside the bayou

salty winds whipping their faces

as they prayed to the Lord God,

their savior

for better days.

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