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Reflections On Southern Comfort MAG
I grew up in the south,
had a big ol' southern family
and creaky Victorian house
with a shiny porch swing that papa made
of oak. Us women we'd sit out on it
on days when the sun was like the heat
from them blue fire torches
'cept it was never blue,
more like water. Not water just laying there
in pools, but like fallin' water
washin' stuff away. It's not really
even a color but just like a ripplin'.
We'd make lemonade not from real lemons
'cause all that squeezing of 'em -
well it was just too hot for that.
It's come from this tin, that was yella
an' had this lemon floatin' above
a fence that was kinda like the one out back that swung open
for papa an' the boys so's they could go out to the fields.
It was picketed an' white.
We'd sit 'n sip, cause mama said
"a lady always sips" an' the men would
walk by, smellin' like their very soul
was burnin' up, it was that hot!
They'd smell like when hair's on fire
but sadder. Our cubes of ice clinkin' together,
ramblin' little songs, real quiet, like someone'd
turned the volume down. The music in the movie
of men that we'd watch, walkin' from their fields.
And the steady creakin' of them metal chains
suspendin' us in the swing keepin' time to the sweat
drippin' down their faces.
Sometimes they'd come up close to ask "how ya'll doing?"
and ya know, I think about it now an'
they really only smelled like
work an' dirt an' brown grass. I think it was
my soul I smelled,
burnin' up like strands o' blond hair,
curlin' up on themselves, turnin' black, fallin' down an'
floatin' off somewhere. Specks o' dust that would
get in the men's eyes in fields that they'd wipe way
annoyed at it's bein' there but happy that
they got it out.