Sunday, May 6, 2012

Home Poem

We're home and the laundry is running and dishes are washed and bags are unpacked and things are put away and Mr. Moon has built a little ramp for Flopsy and her chicks who are in the big coop, bathing in dirt like they have discovered the keys to heaven and the teenagers are hiding behind the shelter which we let them out of because Flopsy keeps chasing them back there- not that they seem to have the slightest interest in harming her babies, those little diamond-backed puffballs of chicken-ness.

Oh, it is hot and it is steamy. It is so dry here that the dirt is fine dust and just a little while ago the wind blew, lifting that dust up and sending leaves and the tassels of the pecan trees scuttling downward and the sky grew dark and it rained barely enough to damp it all down and not even that under the trees but the air now is thick with moisture and yes, it is summer here in Lloyd. Not a taste of spring is left. Lick the air and your tongue comes back hot. Sweat pours off you if you move from house to garden and then to the chicken coop.The poison ivy that I got last week keeps popping up in different places and I feel as if I have become infected with what we sometimes called jungle rot when I was a child.

I feel unsettled and mean down in my bones, I hear the frogs croaking their plea for the rain to come, to come, to please just come on and I understand and I slap mosquitoes that land and torture my already itching arms.

Ah. Summer in Florida.


I went out to the garden and picked three squash that with last night's leftovers, kept cold in an ice chest, will be our supper. It is hard to remember last night, that dinner we ate in a room of cool, trendy cement walls and floor, with the lights down low and the white table linen, crisp and cool to the touch. Did we really sip ice water from big stemware glasses with slices of lemon floating in them? Did that ice tinkle as we lifted those glasses in that cool room and ate scallops with orzo and artichoke hearts and mushrooms and greek olives? Did we eat fried green tomatoes with a dill sauce and chunks of crab?
I think so.

Well. We are home and that is where you go and you go there because you love it. And we will turn on the air conditioner tonight and we will rest fine, I think.

This is the south, after all. The south has its ways and its charms and its devilments and dirt and its elegance and its mean, hard side. And yes, we do eat barbecue off styrofoam because that is the way it is. There are meals to be eaten off of china and there are meals to be eaten off of less substantial ware. The best barbecue you ever eat will doubtless not be served on fine dishes.
Not in the south I live in, anyway. You may see what looks like good barbecue being eaten off of fine china on tables decorated with hydrangea blooms in crystal vases in fancypants, thick-papered magazines but that's bullshit.

We are home and I've watered the porch plants, the hanging ferns drip their water down to the spider plants below them. The white fly is threatening to take over and I washed the chicken shit off the porch.

Owen is coming tomorrow and I'll get him to help me wash the dogs. I can't wait to see him and his brother. My heart and hands are hungry for them.

The little bit of rain that we got drips from the magnolia leaves in the growing darkness and I can hear Mr. Moon out in his garage-workshop, and I can see Curly Sue from here, running from one end of the coop to the other. I need to go figure out what I'm going to do with that squash.

We went away and we had a wonderful time and we are back. The meanness in  my bones dissipates and even as I write this, the air has cooled. I am like this place, in a way. I am a mixture of everything. Of heavy silver and thin crystal, of styrofoam and plastic forks, of heat and chill and drought and storm. Of wind and of complete stillness. Of blues and bluegrass, of silk and of cotton, of dirt and pure, clear water, of sin and of atonement. I can scream out truth, and honey, I can whisper lies. The snake crawls through the deep grass and the hawk screams overhead while the frogs plead and pray and the sky opens and closes, an eye that does not care but releases what it has down the face of this place I call home.


  1. This is really some beautiful writing. Really!

    It is steamy here also.

  2. I just read your post again. And I say it again, this is some of the most beautiful writing ever. You and Tennessee Williams Mary!

  3. Ditto what Ruby said--love the prose!

  4. I agree with Rubye Jack. Your last paragraph is exquisite. I'm glad you get to see your baby boys tomorrow.

  5. I agree, oh yes. Your writing is down to earth and elegant at the same time. Styrofoam and fine china. You encompass it all and you do it so well.

  6. You rock, Sister Moon. You just do.

  7. Oh that last graph especially is stunning. Lordy, Mary Moon, you can write.

  8. Came back to read this again this morning. You write beautifully. I mean it. I came back to eat up every word all over again. Thank you. Love you so!

  9. I'm scared of that heat. But oh, it reads well.

  10. Not just the last paragraph.....the whole thing is pure magical poetry.

    You have outdone yourself, Mary Moon.

  11. Thank you for the trip to Florida, as only you can pen it.
    But....jungle rot???? Scary.
    Now, I've gotta go, I've got some of my favorite blog reading to get caught up with! (I haven't read all of your trip posts yet.)

  12. Rubye Jack- Sometimes you just have to let it all flow.

    Polly- Hello. Thanks for coming by and taking the time to comment.

    Anonymous Jo- Thank you.

    lulumarie- You know what I'm talking about.

    See Kate Run- Thank-you.

    Gradydoctor- That is high praise from you. I appreciate that you liked what I wrote.

    Jo- The heat can get bad. It's true.

    Lo- Oh, honey. Thanks.

    Denise- Florida- it's a pretty wild place.

  13. I totally agree with the comments about the wonderful writing. It reminds me of Faulkner. You have totally caught the sense of this place in your descriptions!

  14. Today, it has been like spring again--cooler with a lot of north wind. I like this weather because I dread the hot, humid lethargic days of summer here. The heat and humidity literally take my breath away at times. But I love the South. It is home. And in four months, there will again be a few cool days.


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