July 2017

by StarShield Lortie

Background photograph by Carla Ciuffo

StarShield lives in Murfreesboro where she tutors, teaches English, and writes and performs her poetry at the occasional open mic night. Learn more at www.starshieldlortie.wordpress.com.

Bless Our Hearts

the cotton fields

the poke weed

the run down row houses far away from the tree lined streets

and old empty slave quarters on plantation tours.


the southern pride

the legacy of southern hospitality

the Confederate flag

and the heritage that runs through the land

like blood in family veins.


the long history

the deeply scarring epithets

the creaking magnolia trees

and the men in masks burning wooden crosses in front yards.


the million stereotypes,

at once both living legacies

and ancient stories passed down on porches

as the summer locust songs swell and fade, swell and fade.


we leave things unsaid

because we are deathly afraid

it will all start again, or that it never really ended,

and drown out the courage in the face of so much hate.

Pin It on Pinterest