Found in South Carolina

Geechees

Island families —
just Gullahs to outsiders,
gather up the sea.

. . . . .

Chez Grace

At her house,
people are poetry.

And the rest —
inside other homes?

Midnight to dawn:
no costumes or masks.

Still, falling stars
land hard in open hearts.

Till all turns quiet —
talked out after flames.

. . . . .

Refining Fires

Prejudice unveiled:
Negro schools and Jim Crow cars,
peonage systems.

Southern press, pulpits:
yesterday’s Pharoahs, lynching
loyalty and light.

Behind their closed doors:
unjust courts contributed,
suppressed darkest truths.

Rescript history:
all slaves emancipated,
freed to live their lives.

. . . . .

Magnolia Leaves

Tales and ballads,
travelling South Carolina:
matrons recollect.

Mothers and daughters,
lifetimes of old customs shared:
sweet-tea diversions.

Afternoon visits,
love’s progress in drawing rooms:
faded rose-bud breath.

. . . . .

Susan Powers Bourne
Found poetry sourced from titles
of Women.Poets.South.Carolina

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