HomeSouthern VoiceThe Gem of Shelby County

The Gem of Shelby County

by Mia Pearson-Loomis

She came of age between tobacco plants and racehorses
That dreamy, sparkle girl.
What’s the use of a daydream in a trailer park?
The list never ends.
She dyes a jacket Kentucky blue and imagines she’s a stallion
Galloping towards herself;
Towards memories of peacocks and diet pills;
Granny women and preachers.

And like her mothers come before
She’s always been loved for what her hands could do,
Yet hated for it.
Where is the shimmer in hard work?
She creates it with candy colored gemstones and chiffon;
Quilts it into warm blankets;
Braids it between strands of hair.

Like a button on a coat.
Unnoticed unless missing. But she’s always there.
Because the closest a button comes to being loved
Is being used.

So she finds artistry in usefulness.
This leather girl in pom-pom earrings
Whose hands spark stars the moment she reaches out
To transmute the magic from the mundane.

Mia Pearson-Loomis lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she was born and raised. She is an emerging poet who takes inspiration from psychology, mythology, pop culture and interpersonal relationships. Her work has been published in Knoxville periodical The Pigeon Parade. You can keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter @sunshinevoyager.

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