Three Poems by Mel Sherrer
Remembering Powhatan after the Dog Days
September is twisting through Powhatan, a dusty fan blade,
moss receding, below stones in the grit driveway
ground becoming swollen, mess of ocher, leaf-bearing
wet give of harvest cake
last of the shoe-less season.
Butterflies wing over Foxgloves and Crepe Myrtle blooms.
Seven-year locusts are pecked to pieces in the kudzu,
whistles call hounds acres away.
A stream beneath the spray-painted tunnel trickles to warmer
water hundreds of miles south.
Just down the highway, a Revival tent sprouts stripes fertile green.
I grew up in an r.v. out in a no-stop-light county.
Winos pedal back and forth between the town’s two gas stations.
Lucky ones have a few purple sips over two pound biscuits,
gumming about yesterday’s haul with the whitetail hunters and their juniors.
Hours from morning when the church crowd
ushered by the sheriff, fills the narrow single street,
folks will be in search of a little something
they needn’t go farther than town.
The Union Pacific blares the coarse alarm of another work day.
Truckers amble to their cabs, with sleep clinging to corners
of their red eyes and set mouths. Boots are laced tight, calf-high
over tube socks, dried stiff. Grocers lean into glass counters,
arrange butchered meat. A packaging factory
zombie hangs his baggy coat at the single-wide trailer
threshold, another picks up his punch slip and car keys.
Lunch boxes snap closed,
cicadas electrifying dawn, announce the fever pitch-
bodies up and off to work.
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. Read her previous poem in Deep South here.