Jeffrey Miller: Poetry: June 2021

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born and raised in Michigan, which is south of Canada. When I was 12 years old I was stranded in Kentucky for a week, which is south of Cincinnati. I am a freelance writer and have a degree in History and Political Science from Central Michigan University. My work has been published in newspapers, and I am working on a journal article and a nonfiction book. I live in Cincinnati, Ohio with my wife and son (who was born in Virginia, which is south of the Mason-Dixon line). Cincinnati is south of Dayton, Ohio.

The Mississippi Type

Loosing steam
Unintelligible words
Sweat down
Toes tap.
The frenzy’s in the crowd
All he holds up three fingers
The voice cracks, pops, hisses
Like a Victrola 78
And it’s “What cha wan’ po’ me to-do?”
He’s not Muddy
He’s not Lightnin’
He’s not Mississippi John
But he cooks
And takes out the garbage.
It’s Tuesday night
What else can we do?
As the sun is about to rise
He’s been out of reach
Since he heard
Langston Hughes preach.

There was chanting and ranting
And drinking about the whole thing.

He holds up two fingers
Spitting out
Sweating still
Walking the words
Drooling slur,
“What cha wan’ po’ me to-do?”
I given y’all ma-money
N’ now yur runnin’ round with someone new!”