Suicide Attempt IV: A History of the South

Professor Tate motions me to sit.

A makeup exam, in his office of

faded Civil War generals,

lines of lonely looking men.


He stands by two favorite teaching quotes:

You Can’t Catch Fish on the Surface.

Few Folks Say What They Mean.


I hear: I am so sorry…


My knee bobs.     I say: You are so kind.

My father is in such pain.


I open the blue book:

Propose Three Policies to Mitigate

Strategic Failures of Reconstruction.


Dr. Tate pats my shoulder as he leaves,

makes me four again, in my grandfather’s lap

with Sunday biscuits in my hands, hymns in my head.

Published in River Sedge