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. She was Cincinnati's first Poet Laureate from April 2-16-March 2018. Pauletta is author of six poetry collections, Plaindrome (Dos Madres Press, 2017; winner of the 2017 Weatherford Award), 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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