Cincinnati Poetry Month Daily: Collard Greens at a Republican Picnic by Kelly Thomas

Sometimes the simplest form, in this case a modified “list poem” can pack a mighty punch, as in this one by Clifton resident Kelly Thomas, a poet who is also an editor, writing coach and teacher.


Collard Greens at a Republican Picnic

I am please you,
not me. I am
push it down,
let it simmer. I am
the black pepper speck
caught between your
white teeth. I am

collard greens
at a Republican picnic.
I am shoulders back,
head up. I am
cayenne in the veins,
creamy potato salad
to your face.

I am blackberry jam
staining white bread. I am
the spicy black sheep
roasting in your pit.

Kelly Thomas
*Previously published in Genesis, 2009

Author: Pauletta Hansel

Pauletta Hansel is a poet, memorist, teacher and editor. On April 15, 2016 she was named Cincinnati's first Poet Laureate. Pauletta is author of five poetry collections, Tangle (Dos Madres Press, 2015), The Lives We Live in Houses (Wind Publications, 2011), What I Did There (Dos Madres Press, 2011), First Person (Dos Madres Press, 2007) and Divining (WovenWord Press, 2002). Her poetry has been featured recently in journals including Talisman, Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine, Appalachian Journal, Atlanta Review, Postcards Poems and Prose and Still: The Journal, and anthologized in Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia; Motif: Come What May; and Motif: All the Livelong Day. Pauletta leads community poetry workshops and retreats in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond, and has served as Writer-in Residence at Thomas More College in her native Kentucky. She is a co-editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. Pauletta received her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte.

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