“Mississippi Summer” By: Connor McGaha

He’ll pay me mint juleps
for a Mississippi summer
to see Purple Wave petunias
bloom in crushed-velvet heat.
To escape from cement
and the city’s stale air
for some game of croquet
on an Oxford lawn.
White shirts under sunrays
white fences in August
that crawl along sidewalks
by postage stamp lots
Indian gravesites

way north of Jackson.
Porches sag into soil
or slide up from railings
and ivy ties knots
in lattice-cut skirts.
A rocking chair stares
with a sweat-beaded highball

flagged on the corner
with a pioneer straw.
The state’s seen decades
burdened by heat
and bouts of depression
and plain old shit luck.
but Live Oaks grow sturdy
dropping Spanish Moss carpet
enticing soft footfall
from leather-soled loafers.

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