A Poem by Lightsey Darst

We continue our celebration of National Poetry Month, and Coffee House Press, with a poem from Lightsey Darst's just published collection, Find the Girl.

 

 

Billboard

 

The 2007 peach queens of Clifton County welcome you

to this stretch of kudzu & jack pine. 

 

                                                        I am not your impression of me

                                      fly in amber, struggling, ruined wing.

 

Below their smiles

a stand for pecans, the beaten trees

bending, arching in neat rows.

 

           I am not the flat version.

           I am not the thin version.

           I am not the one held together with barbed wire.

 

You can gather

your own berries

in these long hot fields—the handwritten

sign in blue.

 

                              I am not the one hanging

                              with one hand

                                   onto the tailgate of the black truck.

 

                              I am not the bas-relief, I

                                   am not the photogenic swamp.

 

                              I am not the good sister.

 

                              I am a peach queen, I am welcoming you

 

__________________________________________________________________________________

From Find the Girl by Lightsey Darst. Copyright © 2010 by Lightsey Darst.

Published by Coffee House Press: www.coffeehousepress.org.

Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved

July 24: On this day in 1725 John Newton, the slave trader-preacher who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace," was born.

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