Treasure Island

Natasha Trethewey


South


I returned to a stand of pines,
bone-thin phalanx
flanking the roadside, tangle
of understory—a dialectic of dark
and light—and magnolias blossoming
like afterthought: each flower
a surrender, white flags draped
among the branches. I returned
to land's end, the swath of coast
clear cut and buried in sand:
mangrove, live oak, gulfweed
razed and replaced by thin palms—
palmettos—symbols of victory
or defiance, over and over
marking this vanquished land. I returned
to a field of cotton, hallowed ground—
as slave legend goes—each boll
holding the ghosts of generations:
those who measured their days
by the heft of sacks and lengths
of rows, whose sweat flecked the cotton plants
still sewn into our clothes.
I returned to a country battlefield
where colored troops fought and died—
Port Hudson where their bodies swelled
and blackened beneath the sun—unburied
until earth's green sheet pulled over them,
unmarked by any headstones.
Where the roads, buildings, and monuments
are named to honor the Confederacy,
where that old flag still hangs, I return
to Mississippi, state that made a crime
of me—mulatto, half-breed—native
in my native land, this place they'll bury me.

Submitted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Edited: Thursday, March 13, 2014

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (South by Natasha Trethewey )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Teacher Yaser Nadeem Sari الاستاذ ياسر ن.., MOHAMMAD SKATI
  2. Teacher Yaser Nadeem Sari, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  3. How Are You Hittin' It?, Joe Hughes visit joehughes.o ..
  4. The Forsaken Tradition, ALEX OGOH
  5. The different images in life, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  6. India To Vow, Asit Kumar Sanyal
  7. A Touch of Fall, Rhonda Trull
  8. YEN, Gina Borrebach
  9. Geleefd, geliefd, verzonken, Madrason writer
  10. That coming Fall, MOHAMMAD SKATI

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When the hours of Day are numbered,
And the voices of the Night
Wake the better soul, that slumbered,
To a holy, calm delight;

Ere the evening lamps are lighted,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

 

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  5. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  8. Alone, Maya Angelou
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  10. Dreams, Langston Hughes

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]