HomeSouthern VoiceDitchwater Revival

Ditchwater Revival

by Mel Sherrer

I came from nowhere,
I sprang up from the red clay ground,
where my mother’s red people bled and died and are bred out now.

I came from nowhere,
I sprang up from the metal poisoned creek bed
rusty with hundred year manacles and the bullied bodies of my kindred.

I came from nowhere,
I sprang up from the roadside ditchwater,
floatin’ ‘longside the white trash of my confederate flag forefathers.

I came from nowhere,
I sprang up ‘tween the forks of pitchforks.
I combusted from the embers of burning crosses on the front porch.

I came from nowhere
I sprang up hating hatred’s language
like nigger, loon, cracker, coon and too many names to name them.

I came from nowhere
I sprang up like spring-time pistons from the
roots of wild hair -washed and combed in buckets.

I came from the larva in the puddle of the dry well,
and beneath the rusted spigot.
I can turn a rock where the ditch
meets a southern-pointed road,
along which my ancestors
spat/ cursed/ sweat,
and say I am from Here.

 

Mel Sherrer is a writer, teacher and Southern transplant recently relocated to Las Vegas. Her writing style incorporates minimalism, attention to sonic aesthetic and regional flair. She received her B.F.A. from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, and an M.F.A. from Converse College in South Carolina. She is the current managing poetry editor for South 85 Literary Journal. 

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1 COMMENT
  • Liz V. / April 5, 2019

    lovely poem, Mel! thank you for sharing your work with the world!

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