Paul Jones: Poetry: Nov 2021


Southern Legitimacy Statement: Paul Jones was born in Hickory, NC. He did started his growing up in Charlotte, then spent four years at NC State. Having been at NC State allowed him to teach for 40 years at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Of a Marriage

My daddy came from Cheerwine.
My momma came from Sun Drop.
That’s about the distance from 
liver pudding to livermush,
from a red tinge in que sauce
to the clarity of vinegar,
from pork butt to whole hog,
from just slaw to coleslaw,
from Hellmann’s mayo to Duke’s,
from BC Powders to Goodies,
from red eye to chocolate gravy,
from bacon grease to butter,
from possum to opossum,
from eating possum and yams to
eating chitlins and gray sauce—
all fall or just at Thanksgiving.
But at Christmas, only one
present could be opened before
midnight, before church service,
before morning or there would be
consequences. On that they agreed.
My daddy was a rooster,
But my momma was an owl.
She took her coffee black and in bed.
He cooked his eggs sunny side up.
She ate everything with a spoon.
And he thought she hung the moon.