Blood Kin

One of our very dear friends was Chick Wallace and she wrote some beautiful poetry.  Here is one of her poems from her book Blood Kin, first published in 1985.

 

PERFECT LADY

When Annie Tiller died at eighty-three

They haggled over who would say what in the eulogy

Her husband said for fifty-four years

                                          my heart’s dear mate

She never once raised her voice or scolded

Her sister wept, a perfect loving daughter, especially

                                           while her father was alive

The children yes, she kept the school dresses

                                            starched and fresh

In Racks of five, with the socks all neatly folded

And the Toll House cookies ready

                                             and never on a paper plate

Her windows were the cleanest in town

                                              the neighbors testified

Her gynecologist reported with considerable pride

He’d only had to do one d-and-c

                                              and her Paps were always clear

The Rainbow Girls said she’d been their sponsor

                                                almost every year

Then they found in the back of her Bible

                                               some little poems on torn paper scraps

Pornographic-sounding words of passion

                                               unfamiliar to their Baptist ears

And not much like anything they’d ever thought she’d say

At the funeral she was a good Southern Christian lady,

                                                they’d recall  —

And nobody knew her at all

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