Southern Legitimacy Statement: I have lived in Virginia for nearly 30 years, but that’s not my SLS. I grew up in south Minneapolis, playing hockey outdoors every winter day unless it snowed too hard, so that’s not my SLS. A long time ago, I married an Alabama girl. At least once a week, she still makes cornbread in an iron skillet, just like Grandmama taught her, and when it’s fresh and tender, she fries up okra to a popcorn crunch. As they say farther south, “Lord, have mercy.” That’s my SLS.
Fireflies in Starlight
I rise and grope my way
toward the bathroom door.
Pausing in silence, eyelids
heavy as garage doors, I see,
between window slats, black
trees arrayed in glinting fireflies.
Raising a blind reveals signal lights
winking all along the forest edge.
Tree-top branch tips flare beneath white
stars like candle wicks touched by fire.
I turn away, too sleepy to observe insects
pulse in code ten thousand summers old.