by Dr. Emory D. Jones
Curling mists rising from sloughs in a land table flat,
only a few thickets where the water stands full of cottonmouths;
bull frogs and mosquitoes rest from night serenade
and sun climbs to mid-day heat.
Dilapidated frame store stands,
gray-brown on the outside against Orange Crush signs,
dark behind the screen doors that bang gently when you enter--
glass cases full of jawbreakers and case knives
squat behind humming red Coke boxes;
earth fragrance clings like a lover
around cooler of Blue Ribbon and Jax.
Folks troop to the fields frothed with white to the horizon--
Mississippi white gold mined with sweat on sticky afternoons--
waiting for the sun to kiss the River.
Guitar sings soul in roadside juke joints,
harmonica wails pain away--
blues ooze, cake walk out of doors--
strings sing under callused finger-tips of Son;
Muddy wails waters of tears
in a Rainey night in Greenville,
as eternal as the flow of the River to the Gulf.
Late afternoons can still find lazy streams lined with people
stretching poles over holes
tempting mud-cats with bloodbait and doughballs.
It’s the forever land undulating in black
beneath your feet that gives it soul,
flavors it with tears.
And the blue notes still rising from bottle neck slides
glide out into a night as rich as black earth
waiting for another sun.
Dr. Emory D. Jones is an English teacher who has taught in Cherokee Vocational High School in Cherokee, Alabama, for one year, Northeast Alabama State Junior College for four years, Snead State Junior College in Alabama for two years, and Northeast Mississippi Community College for thirty-five years. He joined the Mississippi Poetry Society, Inc. in 1981 and has served as President of this society. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by this society in 2015. He won Poet of the Year in the Mississippi Poetry Society in 2002 and again in 2016. He has over two hundred and thirty-five publishing credits.
Belle Rêve Literary Journal is a southern literary experience. Our mission is to capture everything that makes the South and its residents unique through the best contemporary literature we can find. We publish new works weekly.
Passionately Ran, Compassionately Fed.