Rose Jenny: Poetry: Nov 2021


Southern Legitimacy Statement: As a trans woman, I am happy to see you all seeking to create opportunities for a diverse array of southern voices and would love to be a part of realizing that goal. I grew up in Matthews, North Carolina, spending most of my time acting in local theaters such as Theatre Charlotte, Children’s Theater of Charlotte, and Matthews Playhouse. I attended both Charlotte United Christian Academy and Northwest School of the Arts for high school, the former being where I first developed a passion for literature. My upbringing there finds its way into all of my writing, because the south to me is a deep pool of pain and resilience that gives way to joy and passion.

A Meal for Dogwood

Petals plume from fingertips
of her outstretched hand,
gripping the oak banister 
in a ranch house, in Mint Hill,
where she learned to grow

into falsehoods, expectations
made of her father’s afterimage.
She is rooted there, in heated
conversation, spittle gathered
at the corners of her mouth,

drying on the skin, absorbed
by the dogwood, a meal made
from its host, fallen in the place 
of fought back tears, wanting
desperately to be fed upon.