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Wednesday, August 21, 2013


by Gail White

My deep Southern family
all loved to eat:
Thanksgiving dinners
and barbecued wieners
and fish fries with hushpuppies
in summer's heat.
We were just middle class
but we made both ends meet
and we put on no airs
but we did have our pride,
and nothing to hide
on Asperity Street.

Our patriotism
did not need a push
below Mason-Dixon--
we voted for Nixon,
we voted for Bush
(even W. Bush).
We didn't drive Cadillacs,
didn't wear fur,
but all of us knew
who our ancestors were.
Adultery always
was very discrete
and no one was gay
(or at least didn't say)
and our drunks drank at home
on Asperity Street.

We respected ourselves
when our fortune went smash
and we looked down on people
who couldn't pay cash. 
We gave up our steaks
but we still paid the rent
and the government (Yanks)
never gave us a cent
Whatever our plight
we stood on our own feet. 
We looked out for ourselves
and owed nobody thanks,
but formed into ranks
of the Christian and white,
the politically right
and the forces of light
on Asperity Street.

Gail White is a frequent contributor to journals favorable to rhyme.  She is the featured poet in the first issue of Light on-line and winner of the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Prize for 2012.  She lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.