1934, Fulton County, Georgia

© 2018 Katherine Williams
"1934, Fulton County, Georgia" appears
in Spillway 26

The end-words of this poem's lines, read down from the top, are a famous poem by Ezra Pound. The content is based on my family lore.
Miz Strickland up and calls me from the yard into the
Parlor. I ain’t never been allowed in here. It’s like an apparition,
That old lady in this pretty room. Makes me faint of
Heart. She says to sit at the piano and play these
Two sheets. I’m nervous but daren’t not mind her. The faces
On her and her fat daughter turn mean and I miss a note. She says In
Two days a lady is coming with some people from the
Church so you better play good. There’s a whole crowd
Of kids here needing a home, I seen ’em like to strew rose-petals
Before them church people. Here, you’ll wear this dress, put on
These shoes, this ribbon. Miss Jane will give you a
Bath and try to do something about that rash. Jane, wet
That awful hair and cut those bangs. Something in me goes black—
My sisters ain’t here. That cradle again, under the bough.