HomeSouthern VoiceOn Reading Charles Brady’s The Riceboro Poems

On Reading Charles Brady’s The Riceboro Poems

by Steven Croft

Because the child is father of the man, there is this road
in a poet’s memory to coastal Georgia.

Body for decades in San Fran, his mind travels back
here to walk the dirt path from Crossroads to Riceboro.

Again and again under low-stretched oak limbs, moss hangs
its mystery just above a boy’s easy reach.

Again and again weeds cluster a wire fence where
the dirt track curves into town and night rests on a field.

Beyond the field, moon-silvered flat of North Newport River
and old rice fields haunted by mist-whispered slave chants.

Again and again his boyish whistle brings snorts and
blazed faces. That easy breath now, his and the horses,

As in the distance a freight train wakes the night.

An Army veteran, Steven Croft lives on a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. He is the author of New World Poems (Alien Buddha Press, 2020). His poems have appeared in Willawaw Journal, Sky Island Journal, So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Poets Reading the News, Gyroscope Review, San Pedro River Review, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and other places, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

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