by James Maynard
Strong words and a good defense—the south will rise
again. It’s the prefix that counts, fixing to a gable
or portico, antebellum even to each subdivision.
Which is why Coach is up there leaning shouting
let’s go let’s go let’s go! May be we’re in it for good or
blood or may be we’re going national from D.C.
to California, but they’re making sure we keep
our bed sheets clean. Any moment they’ll walk in,
asking to speak to Alabama. Sherman ain’t in it,
we know that. We know every God-sent puff of air
in July when the county’s soggy with sun and thunder.
Every boy becomes a man, every girl a wife.
Coach just claps to say get on with it,
bury the ball in the end zone the chicken wings
in ranch. It’s been about again for a century
and a half : cotton is cotton except the subsidies
go to Brazil—creek shore is the creek’s,
sure it isn’t going to change on us soon.
J. Kirk Maynard is an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama, where he lives in warmth and humidity with his wife Jessica, and their dog Lucy. His poems and reviews can be found in Arch, Blueline, White Whale Review and Black Warrior Review.