Native Cottonmouth

By , Opelousas, LA
My mother always said
that my sister was a
cottonmouth.
The frailty of her language
swirled with a
drowsy sleep accent,
drove my family
into figure eights.
My mother would put
salt in her mouth to
correct her native tongue.
And my brother would
stalk her and beat her
with a switch if any words
were spoken in public.
Sometimes I imagined
that my sister wasn’t
from the same Louisiana swamp lands
as us.
I preferred to believe
that she was from a
different planet. Somewhere not known.
Jealous of her gift
I become a cottonmouth too.





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