- Driving Interstate West through Georgia
Already I am become an outsider, a visitorseldom and hasty to my communityof pecan, cedar, pine, oak. A forgetful witnessto the smell of peaches liquoring the air.I see this land the way I want to remember,do the same for childhood love.—The rough hand that touched mebut didn't scrape down to bone.Like those Africans choking downmouthfuls of home before they were loadedonto the boats, this place might movethrough me soon and be gone.—The clucking of grown folks'voices as they prayed over daily meat.The branch cradling the blood's neck,patch of green fed by offhand screams.If this earth is denied me, then what do I know?That before you travel to the prairie's open fields,you must follow the southern tangle?That if you try to pull up somethingunfinished from the ground, the clottedsounds of lament still cling to the roots?
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers’s latest book is Outlandish Blues (Wesleyan, 2003). Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Kenyon Review, and Prairie Schooner. A native Southerner, she now lives on the prairie, where she is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma.