In Cox Creek, the Moss in the Current Is as Silky as a Little Girl's Hair
I wear the pagan cloak of my shame,
as green as mossy trees
where I played all the forbidden games,
in and under.
As green as the unripe persimmon
that tricked and swelled my tongue and my lips
As green as the mossy stumps
where I sat,
the mysterious blood running down the lichen secrets,
into microbacterial life I will never name--
As green as the mossy teeth
in the filthy fairman's mouth.
He let me ride the round-up
until my mouth turned whitish green,
his hands on the throttle all mushroom black,
As green as the scratchy moss
in the mouth of boys and girls in junior high
who did not speak to me
but filled the air with spores
of their contemptuous whispers
as I walked among them,
my soles the prints of dead mud puppies,
my green slime dragging behind me on the oil floors,
a green thread pulled from my loose hem--
which everyone saw,
but never said.
They did not know that in the creek
that ran through the pasture
I once save a life,
in the dark, bottomless part.
They did not know
that beneath the pure water of the falls,
which ran in white Communion veils
across my arms,
my hands and fingernails full of red clay,
I was baptized
a clean child.
Causes Bonnie Roberts Supports
The Southern Poverty Law Center, The National Resource Defense Council, The ACLU, Doctors without Borders, Save Darfur