Wendy Carlisle


What’s basic in me favors drawl,
country words, hot as August clapboard,
words that sound out
what they mean, that have a clean, plain
life, without too much decorum.  I linger
over hand-rubbed vowels, magnolia
and verandah, as homefolks rock and gossip
in the side yard, multiply the syllable
in each three-letter word.  Now
away from home I still reach for the old
language, sheltering under my scapula
like folded wings as I become
the one who seldom speaks, who hesitates,
who has another name for it.                       




Death of Chumley
(Terry Wright)