Blood Kin

by Glenda Barrett

For those of you

who have drawn water
from a well or carried
water from a spring,

who have washed clothes
in a cold creek, scrubbed
them on a washboard, or used
a ringer washer and hung
them on a clothesline,
in freezing weather,

who have wrung a chicken’s neck
to cook for Sunday dinner, while
getting small children ready
to go to Sunday school.

who have hoed all day in the cornfield,
as well as the garden. Later,canning
the vegetables for winter as well as
with picking blackberries and making
blackberry jelly in a hot kitchen.

For those of you,
who have gone on before me,
ones who have left large footprints
for me to follow, ones who suffered
but endured and kept plodding on,
I am proud to be blood kin.

A native of Hiawassee, Glenda Barrett is an artist, poet and writer. Her work is widely published, including Woman’s World, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Rural Heritage, Farm & Ranch Living, Wild Goose Poetry Review and many others. Her Appalachian artwork is online at Fine Art America, and her chapbook, “When the Sap Rises,” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008. Read her previously published poems in Deep South here

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