“Southland Growing” / Gage Williams

Dogwoods and peach trees will bloom soon,

Patching white-pink beauty across highways

And state lines where rusted kudzu- covered

Signs spread lies that bite like sand flies.

 

Voices rise over backseat bus rides and echo

Through the Alabama green grass hills:

We Dare Defend our Rights as long as we are white.

 

Charleston-white paint peels from crumbling

Plantations while Proud Boys chant in the streets:

While I Breathe, I Hope blood and soil, now we choke.

 

Mississippi magnolias stand proud in a crooked way

Over the Delta where toads and Jim-Crows sing:

By Valor and Arms racism is just a part of Southern charm.

 

In Georgia, thrashers warble from the mountain loblollies

Down into the dusty peanut plains where old words grow again:

Wisdom, Justice, Moderation welcome to the new nation.