Growing up in the South, you learn from an early age about racism. Our public schools taught from books that The Daughters of the Confederacy bought for schools. Eventually, we read books that actually told some truth.
I remember reading about the Civil Rights movement and its leaders. I remember learning details about Martin Luther King, Jr. I remember feeling shame to know he was assassinated in my home state of Tennessee.
Being a Southern woman, making food is a part of your soul. It’s in our blood, it’s part of our spirit. It’s just what we do – we cook when we’re happy, when we’re expecting guests, when we’re down, or during a pandemic.
I was eager to see Tennessee –
cigarettes were cheap, people moved slow +
we devoured fried chicken for breakfast –
never ventured into the country, stayed close
to anonymous highways + strip malls
that strip America of originality.
(Photo by Jeff Nissen on Unsplash)
Sometimes I think of our love
as though it’s an old Southern backroad
You’re in the driver’s seat
my feet are on the dash
The roads are curvy and dictate our speed
sometimes we take them slow, sometimes fast
At times they’re the straightest path
with fields of corn on either side
There are moments of fear
but also moments of pure joy
Those old Southern backroads
can go on forever, with no end in sight
Many times you ride those roads
with your most trusted companion
Those Southern backroads are an adventure like none other
and it’s only you I want by my side.