Lisa Taylor: Poetry: July 2021

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born north of the Mason-Dixon line, but with a Southern spirit. Now I’m happily settled where Southern red cedar bedecked in Spanish moss shares the landscape with live oaks and cabbage palms—Florida,the land of flowers, where it’s harder to stop something from growing than to start it.

The Pink Bucket

A small girl walks unsteadily to the edge of the water to fill the faded, pink bucket. The water sloshes as both the girl and the plastic handle strain with the effort of carrying the now heavy pail across the shifting sand.

She makes trip after trip, furrowing a small path with her bare feet. The searing sun moves lower in the sky. After a time, her family gathers their few belongings in preparation for leaving. Together, they trudge across the burning sand; the girl trails behind.

Theirs is not a struggle to find drinking water for survival. Theirs is a day at the beach. This is America.

The young girl in the pink bathing suit glances back at the fruits of her labor. The sand castle is crumbling. The moat is full.