Excerpt: Vinegar and Char

A couple weeks ago, we released a Q&A with the editor of Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance, Sandra Beasley.  You can read it here.  The poetry collection explores what it means to be southern, diversity, and, of course, food.  Here is the first poem of the collection:

Times Like These: Marianna, Florida

L. Lamar Wilson

One woe is past; &, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

—Revelation 9:12

Section_I.pngIn one field, husks, muscadine vines & a sugarcane graveyard furrow acres aching for the devil to beat his wife. In another, a skein of maggots & mayflies, musk thick & resolute, jockey for the cow’s afterbirth. Down Old U.S. Road, weevils wheeze & chafed bales of hay settle for the wind’s sneezes. Wait for a sign, the couple says & set their table with damask, fresh-pressed for a feast of sardines & cornbread. Train their child in the way he should babble. From dusk till dusk, they lull the boy with tales of a faraway sea, buckets of oysters to shuck. OurFatherwhichartinheavenhallowedbethynamethykingdomcomethywillbedoneonearthasitisinheaven. Still no rain. From dusk till dusk, they till dust. They reach for locks of hair & black-eyed peas, stowed away for times like these.

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