Craig Kittner: Poetry : September 2020

Southern Legitimacy Statement: We moved to North Carolina when I was ten. It was 1979, and I watched The Dukes of Hazard religiously. I spent summer days in the woods along the Haw River. My buddy and I would walk the creek looking for crayfish, keeping a careful eye out for copperheads. I got my degree at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, spent some years in Washington, DC (among other places) then settled in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 2012. I used to like sweet tea but now prefer half-and-half.

as political as I can be

drinking a PBR
listening to NPR
as politicians accuse each other
of being what they are

with the car windows down
heater blasting my feet

yeah, I guess I believe
the rule of law doesn’t apply
to me

commute interrupted

mist softened trees mute the traffic
as grebes on the lake dive and surface
Monday thoughts become nothing
in the patter of light rain

sound of a fountain calls to mind
the futility of seeking youth

back to the car and the morning
seat belt securely fastened
as grebes on the lake dive and surface
mist softened trees mute the traffic

playing hooky from the office on a Thursday

can’t really say it’s quiet
’cause I can easily pick out the sound of traffic
. . . whine of an airplane
. . . roar of a leaf blower

but there is a kind-of-silence
that’s thrown out by the trees
and the sloping banks of grass
so that the barking of a squirrel comes through clear

it’s a silence that’s shaken
but not shattered
when the great blue heron announces
it’s gonna fly