Ava B. Emmerson: Poetry: Dec 2021

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born and raised in Philadelphia (Southeastern Pennsylvania), which is south of the rest of Pennsylvania. For the last few years I’ve lived in North Carolina, which is actually traditionally considered to be “The South,” and, after trying hushpuppies and sweet tea, I can say I feel this is where I’ve always belonged.


If they ask about their grandpa, I’ll tell them he’s in Antarctica

He’s training penguins how to dance and speak English

He’s skiing down mountains and building igloos for the homeless

He’s having snowball fights with yetis and racing dogsleds

He’s talking Santa into buying a second workshop in a new location

He’s a very busy guy but he loves them and he’s sorry he can’t make it to their birthday party.

And if they ask me when they’re older where grandpa really is

I’ll tell them you put all the best parts of yourself into your children

And then…you left.

The bad parts are still out there somewhere. I don’t know where. I don’t care.

The only parts I care about are right here, asking about their grandpa.

But for now, I’ll tell them grandpa’s in Antarctica teaching penguins English.