HomeSouthern VoiceSouthern Belle

Southern Belle

by Rachel Williams

This is how you grow up on a farm; this is how you play in the mud; this is how you wear pink rain boots in the mud; this is how you wait for summer; this is how you waste time in the winter; this is how you beg to spend time outside; this is how you catch lightnin’ bugs; this is how you put lightnin’ bugs in a jar; this is how you poke holes in the lid of the jar so the lightnin’ bugs don’t suffocate; this is how you take time for yourself so that you don’t suffocate; this is how you take a deep breath to calm down – a lady never loses her cool; this is how to herd cattle into the holdin’ pen; this is how to look good in work clothes; this is how you cut the grass; this is how you face your fears of gettin’ dirty; this is how you put on cowboy boots; this is how you turn the boys’ heads while wearin’ cowboy boots; this is how you trade in your cowboy boots for a pair of heels; this is how you dress up for church; this is how you become dedicated to church and never miss a service; this is how you sing soprano; this is how you sing alto when the soprano gets too high; this is how to shake the old men’s hands; this is how to hug the old women; this is how to listen to the preacher; this is how you believe in ‘fire’n brimstone’; this is how to get to Heaven; this is how to stay awake when you just can’t listen to the preacher anymore; this is how you help mom cook Sunday lunch; this is how you set the table; this is how you make tea; this is how you add a cup and a half of sugar to the tea to make it sweet; this is how you drink sweet tea; this is how you clean the kitchen; this is how you take a Sunday nap; this is how you take the sweet tea out to Dad while he’s ridin’ on his tractor; this is how you act like a lady; this is how you wear pearls with cowboy boots; this is how you start a bonfire; this is how to be the life of the party; this is how to stay classy while being the life of the party; this is how you flirt with boys; this is how you break boys’ hearts; if you don’t break one of those boys’ hearts, this is how you fall in love; this is how to give that one boy all your love; this is how you act strong when he leaves; this is how you deal with a broken heart; this is how you pretend to fall in love with someone else; this is how you break his heart; this is how you blame it on your jaded self; this is how you paint your nails; this is how you dress for football games; this is how you cheer on the home team; this is how you talk to God; this is how you talk to Mom; this is how you talk to Dad; this is how you tell secrets to your sister; this is how you look at a sky full of stars; this is how you kiss the boy that broke your heart; this is how you read your Bible; this is how you cry when no one is lookin’; this is how you act tough when people are around; this is how to tell the truth; this is how you stay mysterious; this is how to smile when you lie; this is how you never give your heart away; this is how you hide the fact that the reason you can’t give your heart away is ‘cause that boy that broke your heart still has it; this is how you wear blue jeans; this is how you show pride for your country; this is how you show pride for your hometown; and this is how you show pride for yourself.

Rachel Williams strives to be the Southern Belle that her parents, their parents and the rest of her two-lane, stoplight town expects her to be. She grew up knee deep in Alabama mud, learning to balance a tough country girl and a lovely Southern lady. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in physical therapy at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, but continues to pursue her passion of writing and poetry daily.

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1 COMMENT
  • G Miller / April 7, 2016

    This is how I say, “I liked that!”

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