Swamp Skirts

Women of Contemporary Southern Poetry

Archive for the tag “Robert Johnson”

Diann Blakely of Brunswick, Georgia

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I carry a talisman in my pocket—sometimes around my neck. I have a locket that, when opened, contains an egg-shaped pressed penny from Tennessee. The pressed penny from Tennessee acts as a shield or a hidden door to a crisply folded corner piece of common copy paper. The pressed penny is imprinted with the Ten Commandments, the words are so tiny that they are meaningless, but its function is the same. It protects. The Southern mind uses countless talismans, many revolving around religion. My hidden paper means nothing to anyone, but me. It’s a source of order. My sister placed that paper there. She has a gift of placement, and her choice to place something or change something changes the people around her, a sort of order among chaos. I do small things to worship her: I fold a towel in a tri-fold for her, I listen to Sinéad O’Connor for her, I have my locket and the Ten Commandments double protecting her written words. Read more…


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