HomeSouthern VoiceTwo Poems by Robert Baylot

Two Poems by Robert Baylot

Mama: Quiet

Mama, always quiet, thinking.
With seven kids moving seven directions,
She seemed to have reactions mostly.
Few words ushered forth.

Not totally quiet, of course; she said
A few words before chasing to grab
A falling broom or catch an errant ball,
Help with homework or pluck a splinter.

She talked to mothers about their children
And hers, comparing notes,
Wondering if hers had done their homework
And what to cook for dinner.

She prayed her prayers,
Seeing so many reasons to pray.
Quiet Mama. Having a direct line, her prayers
Surely got through, well aimed and delivered

Aimed at a heaven,
Where we hope to follow her,
Where she is likely quiet still.

The Vicksburg Memorial Arch

The sculpted granite memorial arch,
Once welcoming visitors to Vicksburg
At Clay Street,
Long now an entrance way to the
Vicksburg National Military Park.

Room for single cars to traverse,
Pop through, winding down,
Curving along declining hills,
Warping time, inviting
Tourists: history’s travelers,

In among the soldier spirits,
In among catalogued monuments
And marked lines of battle,
In among the now recovered woodlands,
The dedicated battlefield,
Wrapped in Vicksburg’s heart like a time capsule,
Healed up like a long, slowly cut wound.

Robert Baylot has published poetry and fiction in Poetry Super Highway, The Broad River Review, Delta Poetry Review, Blue Moon Literary and Art Review and other publications.  He worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, attended the University of Southern Mississippi and now writes from Germantown, Tennessee. Read his previous poems in Deep South here.

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