Forgotten Southerners

Lu Donoso 2019

Just as we carefully pick
pecans and peaches under the tapestry of a Carolina sky

 

Customs agents strategically pick us off
one by one, under the same sun

like how we butcher the hogs
for some good ol' BBQ for some good ol' families

ours are butchered in a legal fog


Our families are not good enough

Our ancestors built the fields
the houses, the roads, cities


We clean and fix and maintain them 

We’re still not good enough

The instruments we carried on our back
help build the sound of our home


But, God forbid we’re allowed on a Country chart 


No matter what we do, we are
to be erased

We’re Trayvon and Blake
We’re Alice and Kate
We’re just as much Selena as Dixie Chicks
We’re gunned down then celebrated
We’re put in camps 

We’re the underbelly of the New South
that thrives in the shade


We flop in your consciousness
As it drops to fake self-righteousness 

Yet we survive
We’re riots and marches


Celebrations and cookouts
We’re the first Pride

the town of Hendersonville has ever seen
in the form of home-made pecan pie


We’re J of the Lumbee
We’re Mary Anne of the Roanoke and Croatan

 

Some of us are cosmopolitan scum
Some of us are rural hicks

History is written by the winners
and those that write forget us
but they didn’t realize
how stubborn we are

Because first and foremost


We’re Southerners after all

Image by Stacy Kranitz