Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Magnolia, Mississippi

Carl Palmer

Thank ya anyways, there son, I appreciate your offer; however, I don't reckon I'll be goin' anywheres just yet.

It ain't like I ain't beholdin' to ya, it's just that my Momma, rest her soul, didn't raise up her daughter thatta way, ya know what I mean?

Us Duvalls pretty much learnt to take care of our own predicaments, ever what life dishes out, with the help of our Good Lord, we most usually get it done.

I don't need to tell ya that I'm a touch old, but I ain't useless. It'll just take me a mite longer now to get my affairs in order than what it used to.

I'm seventy-two and I've been livin' in this here house for seventy-two years, that my Daddy built. Just like most of the houses around here in this part of Magnolia, Mississippi—family built.

I take kindly to your gesture and it was good talkin' with ya, now y'all need to get on out of here because this mess ain't gonna be fixin' itself anytime real soon.

You wanna help somebody, help them poor folks what live in the shanty part of town, over yonder in the Buena Vista neighborhood in them cracker box trailer houses. This here flood water is probably gonna be terribly high down there.

I've got some jars of stewed tomaters and a bushel basket of fresh okra that'll be really good boiled up that you boys can tote with ya if you're headed down that way. We've got to take care of the ones what ain't as good off as us. This is America and that's what Americans do.

Thank ya again for stoppin' by. Y'all be careful in that little boat of yours and may God bless us all in this time of need.

Bye-bye now, I've got my chores still need tendin' to and don't forget them tomaters, ya hear?


Carl Palmer is the author of Telling Stories and Memory Moments, collections of flash fiction and poetry performed at his open mike events in the Puget Sound Region of the Pacific Northwest. He has works published in Scotland, England, Germany, Algeria, India, Australia, Canada, and the United States, with selected poetry translated into Arabic, Hindi and French. Carl is a member of The Puget Sound Poetry Connection, Striped Water Poets of Auburn, The Writers Roundtable, New Poets of Lakewood, Dream Weavers, and The Tacoma Writers Club.

© Carl Palmer

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012