Poetry By: Missy Ragona

{Southern }
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It rolled in gently at dawn

            like the fog in from the Gulf, and

Came up the drive, skipping with the

            dogwood blossoms blown by

                        the mornin’ breeze.

It climbed the stairs

            and crept slowly across the veranda,

                        moving     each     step    carefully,

                                    in the manner of an old, gray woman

                                                on the steps of the Second Baptist Church.


It knocked on the oak door with the morning sun,

            Softly at first, then louder.

When I did not answer,

            it crept under the door,

                        mixing with the scent of the magnolias,

And wandered around my house,

            Here and there, touching dusty picture frames

                        and faded souvenirs from fairs and carnivals.

                                    I found fingerprints as proof.


It stopped in the kitchen and,

            peaking inside a simmering pot,

                        added spices at will.

It headed upstairs, running its fingertips

            along the smooth, twisting banister.

                        The house quivered with the tickle.


When it came to my room,

            it did not knock, but, ever so quietly,

                        slid through the door and across the floor.

And sat in my royal-pink brushed-velvet wing-backed chair,

            and waited.


When I did not wake,

            it crept into my bed.

Laying like spoons, we slept through the morning

            and just before midday

                        I woke up southern.


            ~ Elizabeth “Missy” Ragona

                May 19, 1994