In 2006, I was honored to be invited by Turner South Cable to write a poem on the theme "My South", which I performed for television as part of their Turner My South campaign.
My South’s Boys
In my South - men grew up in the creek,
skinning snakes, sunning leather in trees.
My southern man could fire a twenty-two
or tear a truck through red logging roads
even before he was two.
My southern man was raised on Brave’s baseball,
Church diners, and Saturday night, dirt races.
My southern man loves the outdoor salt life:
hunting, camping, climbing, or – even - whittling with a knife.
My southern man can rock a pair of waders.
He casts magic to zip in fresh fish
then fries them up in a cast iron skillet.
My southern man is never scared
of wolf spiders, bats, or even a bear.
Like a boy scout my southern man
is always prepared.
My southern man can name all the stars,
then stay up late telling wild yarns.
My southern man know how to make a little go a long way,
he doesn’t throw away money on fads of the day.
My southern man loves to eat country cooking, he doesn’t
want nothing to do with trendy tapas or anything vegan.
My southern man is friends with his neighbors,
whether puzzling things out beneath the hood of a dodge,
or early morning hunting up at the lodge.
My southern man is the light of my life, so
Thank you Southern Mama’s for raising ‘em right
with chests brimming with
Blue Ridge mountain might
and hearts generous as a sweet summer night.