Monique Crump (1st place. Poetry. Fall 2012 Writing Contest)
Down in the delta magnolias bloom from blood soaked soil
and fathers choke on its heady perfume
shuffling through cotton fields to toil.
Down in the delta mothers shoo poverty with the backs of brooms
and old men rock from porches
humming indigo tunes.
Down in the delta cousins pack suitcases with no places to go
And grandmothers weep over un-seen babies
listening to the screeches of a peculiar crow.
Down in the delta black bodies line the bottoms of riverbeds
and tadpoles swim curiously
through the bullet-sized holes in their heads.
Down in the delta people whisper behind pulpits, “Moses is just a fable”
and God sings the blues in nearby juke joints
wailing, “Look what they’ve done to Abel.”