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Double Thoughts on Dixie

by Scott McDaniel

I bet you do, Dixie,
wanna look away
Past Little Rock Central,
Past Wallace
and the Klan
Past that flag
your country fair t-shirt
insists is history and not hate.

Old times not forgotten?
Slavery, dogs, hoses; look away
look away down south
and past the past
which is more
than the painful tickle
of fresh-cut hair beneath your collar

Dixie, you are your past.

But don’t fret,
I’m here to praise
not bury,
and I’ll never look away.
not until Memphis stops rocking
and the Mississippi stops rolling

See, I love
your drawl,
your heat,
your “y’all,”
your space
Wide open …
like the mouth of 72,000 hog callers
or 102,455 Rocky Toppers.

In Cocodrie, Louisiana a Cajun fisherman told me:
“Qui m’aime mom chein”
Not me, Dixie:
I do love you.
But I hate your dog.
You gotta dog that still bites …
it’s never wise to look away
from one of those.

Scott McDaniel lives with his wife and daughter in his hometown of Jonesboro, Arkansas. He graduated from the University of Arkansas, earning dual degrees in Psychology and Sociology. He has been writing poetry since elementary school, but only recently began sharing his writings. This is his first published work.

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