Darcy Lee :: Peach and Proud ::


Southern Legitimacy Statement: I grew up in South Georgia, where our “snow” grows from the ground, and the only thing sweeter than the tea is the hospitality of folks. Only two words needed to sum up my first eighteen years of life: football and church.

Peach and Proud

Seeded and cultivated
No one would have ever abdicated,
But personally, I was aggravated.
How could they not see it?
For I had looked past the sweet tea, and saw something I hate to admit.
A history not as sweet,
Veiled by sprawling oak trees crowned with Spanish moss,
And a cry of religion behind a cross.

Watered and grown
My branches had stretched far, and my flowers were a little more bizarre.
I wanted more than the BBQs and had tired of the after-church Sunday blues and booze.
So, I decided to choose, past the peach I could never reach.
Because I could never preach and teach of the roots that had been bleached.
Like seeds on the wind, I left my momma’s words behind:
“You’re a peach, not a bird. Stay home and make a difference here preferred.”
But I had thought her absurd, and deferred her word.

Chopped and buried
Living and working away from my roots,
I found it a little harder not hearing peoples’, “shoots”.
And people weren’t smiling. Why weren’t they smiling?
Tasting the sweet tea, I found it not as sweet,
And the meat was sort of deadbeat.
Not dripping in sauce, with sides of mac ‘n’ cheese and beans
This new part of the country was cool and all,
But no one said, “y’all”.

Torn and faded
Flung too far,
I missed the line dancing, not the grind they called dancing.
Glancing back, I wondered if I could ever cutback
To the sweating glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s day
And the bonfires on a cool winter’s night, calling out all the retires.
Years passed, and I realized I could never contrast
The past that had made me flabbergast,
But I could accept it at last.

Blossomed and golden
My dusted pink flowers finally became peaches.
Whether I wanted them to, or not,
My seed was that of a peach, not an apricot.
And when asked, “where are you from?”,
I responded, not with a moan, but with a smile as my capstone,
“I’m from Georgia. Let me tell you about my own.”