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  • Bop: 40 Acres & a Mule on Apalachicola National Forest
  • Yolanda J. Franklin (bio)

Notwithstanding in this, rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

—Luke 10:20

He left: deep-rooted pecan trees, arms full of hanging moss, backdrop the eavesdrop of soughing trees near cornfields, where sweet potato & tomato gardens border remnants of a rusted fence, the color of dried blood once used to pin a wayward bull my daddy & his brother taunted on walks home past the cottonmouth basking on grandma Lacie’s cement doorstep.

you had better hush, hush, hush Somebody’s calling my name

I always jumped or rode over snakes with the front wheel of my Huffy bike, where daddy pulped bullet grapes or muscadines for moonshine in the mudroom shot-off from the garage, & taught me to wade out of quicksand, catch catfish with bare hands while squatting in shallow pools of fresh water, & how to track deer, bear, wild boar & the Thanksgiving turkey, & how to pick blackberries, & plant a strawberry garden atop the hill where a seven-foot rattler interrupted five brothers with shotguns.

hush, hush, hush Somebody’s calling my name

Could thunder have caused the earthquake grandma Lacie said loosed floorboards & rattled her photo with the picture frame lamp of President Kennedy, the same summer I willed folded wash cloths to levitate over the laundry basket like butterflies caught in a mason jar? The ghost of my great-grandfather, John Wyart Hill, called my name nightly in psalm.

you better hush, hush, hush Somebody’s calling my name [End Page 187]

Yolanda J. Franklin

Yolanda J. Franklin is a doctoral candidate at Florida State University. Her poems have appeared in PMS:poemmemoirstory, Sugarhouse Review, and Crab Orchard Review’s American South Issue. She has been awarded several scholarships to write and study at Cave Canem, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, Indiana Writer’s Week, and Colrain Poetry Manuscript Workshop.



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