Gina Ferrara

My Grandmother’s South

Stiff, starched, crinoline for volume,
uncombed cotton to the horizon,

machetes, cut sugar cane, then fields afire
scripted smoke ascending,

magnolias in April initially
opening at the evergreen’s apogee,

in winter, weighted camellias,
the size of fists and hearts,

fallow churches, mostly wooden,
some stucco, tapered steeples,

above ground graves
with fissured angels and urns,

citronella burning,
solidity sequeing to viscosity,

blooming, the sweet olive
no bigger than pin pricks,

and nets, a haze of mesh,
suspended like shrouds, ready to ensnare.

Gina Ferrara lives in New Orleans. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Tar River Poetry, Dovecote, and The Briar Cliff Review among others. Her latest collection of poems, Weight of the Ripened was published in early 2020 by Dos Madres Press. She teaches English at Delgado Community College.