Shelley Nation-Watson: Poetry : Oct 2021

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born and raised in Oklahoma with sausage gravy and biscuits and grits. My paternal ancestors were removed from Georgia and Tennessee through the Trail of Tears. My family lived on their allotments in the Going Snake District in Indian Territory. My grandmother’s land was sold off by her second husband before I was born. My maternal ancestors were from Virginia and come from the Nansemond tribe. I have been learning and writing a lot about my Cherokee and family history over the past several years.

Reuben

His broad shoulders held up his neck that rotated
Impulsively toward his son’s girlfriends,
Might miss a great piece of ass,
Tight mini skirts from early sixties fashion.

His feet lodged in pointed cowboy boots
Held up his six foot two inch frame,
Shoes filled to the tips with newspaper
Ever since that freight train wheel
Severed the tips of his toes.

His bulky belt buckle held up his trousers
With pockets perfect for housing flasks
Filled with gin, whiskey, rum to numb his mind
Of witchery wife who found holy waters wasteland,
No more dancin’ and drinkin’ on a Saturday night,
Not for her.

His ’55 Chevy drove him to the bars
To drink away sobriety
Daughter waiting in the front seat late at night,
Feet barely reaching the pedals
Making sure daddy gets home safe.page2image20710912