Sunday, July 19, 2009

Child of the South

My father celebrated his 74th birthday today. He's amazing; both he and my mother can run circles around most of the people I know--both physically and mentally. They work hard and enjoy the fruits of their labors in their own special way. Once they've put in a full day of work, they like to chill on their porch, reading or just enjoying the surrounding woods and wildlife. They endowed my sister and me with their love of reading and their enjoyment and appreciation of the beautiful southern landscapes that we call home. They gave us every possible opportunity to be unfettered southern children, at home with the sun and the wind and the woods. They inspire me in so many ways.

I am a child of the South--
rural child on the porch,
with lemonade and calloused feet,
grass-stained knees
and sun-bleached hair.
I hug warm breezes close
and slap laughing kisses
on each sultry, sun-blessed day.
I am my mama's child--
kitchen imp
with doughy fingers
and flour-dusted hair,
fashion queen
in lavender taffeta,
floppy high heels,
and jaunty hat.
I am Daddy's darling--
high priestess
held aloft on broad shoulders
to worship sun and sea,
precious cargo
tucked in with downy covers,
kisses, and whipsered prayers.
I am a child of the South--
rural child sleeping sound
with starlight and moonlight
in the magnolia-scented evening.

Happy birthday, Dad!


Berry Blog said...

I just LOVE you tribute. I have the same deep love for the woods and fields of Maine. Your similes bring back all the tastes and smells in me again.
Had I the same gift for poetic words as you I would talk of playing jungle boy or Tarzan, cowboys and Indians, riding a birch tree to the ground, or jumping out of a tree onto an old abandon mattress spring. Or playing war and a rock thrown at the old gravel pit, now mostly sand, kicked up a little dust cloud like a real bullet, and dying off the bank and tumbling down was so dramatic and real. and then recovery..." let's pretend I'm not dead anymore."
tonight on the deck watching the hummingbirds get their last nectar, I will be thinking these thoughts again.
Thanks...really sensitive, well written post, Tina.

Joy said...

As I am sure you know, this reminds me of my childhood and my parents of this Southern child, too. Lovely post!

Anonymous said...

You make me want to come back home.


Vicki said...

I love the poem! It reminds me of summer months spent with my grandparents in little ole Cheraw, SC.