The Decay of the South

Ryan Bohn · March 23rd, 2021

Ryan Bohn, Contributing Poet

Just past Terminus, the
Peach blossoms of the
Fertile plains, tan people
Like the color of a
Brown Thrasher.
The cookies and pie
My Grandma always made
Herself, from scratch, when,
The grandkids came over.
My family calls this

This is blowing autumn,
This is brown leaves,
This is a player piano,
This is a holy sepulchre,
This is a diadem,
This is flowing water,
This is the dying man.

Oceansprayed, woodplanked, and bright.
Live oaken travels; twilight beats upon the
Gravediggers hands at the Dawn. She was buried
In the red-clay she was raised in,
She always wore red anyways.
The mourners gather, neckties and blazers
Hug them like wool uniforms of our ancestors.
She kept a book about ‘Napoleon in Grey,’ anyways.
Around us the pink gardenias are dying too.
She always loved flowers anyways,
So it is fitting she would take some with her.

Bright, like stringed Christmas lights, she was.
Then came the aneurysm, about fifteen years before I was born.
A doctor told my Aunt years later, ‘based on these x-rays,
She should not be able to walk.’
My Grandmother was proof of
For years she lingered,
But, like the scythe for
Cereals grown in our Home (or the millionaires we once were),
My Grandmother’s mind went, and she was
Cut down.

A brilliant, genteel, and angelic peach blossom falls to the
Floor of the green-carpeted room,
The one with the player piano,
And the South finally Decays, once and for all.