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Southern Hospitality

by Sandra Bounds

Mississippi is
the hospitality state
missmapwhere folks are warm
as Spring’s genial sun
that graces cloudless skies,
open and full of blue;
where there is always time
to sit and talk  a while
over cups of coffee
poured from a never-empty pot;
where one more is always welcome
at tables laded with Southern fare–
black-eyed peas, turnip greens, and butterbeans,
tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn,
ham, fried chicken, and barbecue,
pecan pie and peach cobbler,
washed down with gallons of sweet iced tea;
where neighbors gather in times of trouble
bringing food, friendship, and strong shoulders,
offering sympathy and lending helping hands;
where magnolias and mockingbirds,
with their lemony musk and bright chatter,
invite visitors to enjoy
the warm welcome waiting here.
Sandra Bounds was born in Mississippi and lives in Macon. She has a Master of Arts in English and has taught in both high school and community college. An active member of the Mississippi Poetry Society, she was its 2005 Poet of the Year, and the society published a chapbook of her poetry to honor that selection. She has won many awards in contests sponsored by the society and has been published in such journals as Art Gulf Coast, The Lyric, The Road Not Taken, Sharing, The Well-Tempered Sonnet and Westward Quarterly.
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10 COMMENTS
  • Margaret Nichols / April 28, 2013

    This verse left me smelling all the good food and the lilacs blooming and hearing the sounds of kids playing outsider and all the things that go with fun and friendship and hospitality. And oh, we are experts at being hospitable….well, for the most part. We all, no matter what state of the Union, and/or what state of mind have out days when we want to run in and hide. Like today – rainy and dreary and slightly depressing.

    Thanks to you – Sandra bounds – for being a supplier of good thoughts.

  • beth / April 29, 2013

    Love this poem- brings back great memories

  • tom / April 29, 2013

    Great poem! I enjoyed reading it!

  • will / April 29, 2013

    Thinking about all the good food in this poem makes me hungry for some of my granny’s cookin

  • adelle / April 29, 2013

    This is a fun poem!!! 🙂 love it lots!!!

  • will / April 29, 2013

    This poem makes me hungry for my granny’s cookin

  • will / April 29, 2013

    Like this poem a lot

  • Becky Syfrett / April 29, 2013

    Such a perfect description of our state and our community.

  • barbara / May 4, 2013

    This is so very true and so well written! We are truly blessed to live in Mississippi!

  • Millie's youngest / April 9, 2014

    Beautiful ! Thank you Sandra Bounds.

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