A Good White Woman is Hard to Find

I recently met some amazing people, one a Flannery O’Connor Scholar, which had me revisit O’Connor’s works. Granted, I hadn’t read her since college, a very long time ago, where almost all literature courses had you reading dead white men and dead white women, but I still remember the first story I read by O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” As most things with O’Connor, she is complicated, and conflicted. The tragedy is that she died so young, and thus didn’t have the opportunity to repent of her sins, rooted in America’s sin of slavery and segregation.

In any event, a friend and colleague suggested that I write a poem or two about Flannery O’Connor’s work for an upcoming conference in which I’ll be participating, and thus I returned to the first story I read by her, twisting her title, using my favorite form, the Pantoum.

“I don’t like negroes.  They . . . give me . . . pain.”

Frankly, Flannery, I don’t give a damn!

The good ship “Anne” landed in 1773, colonizing

“Georgia,” slavery’s outpost, ‘till the Atlanta Campaign.

 

Frankly, Flannery, I don’t give a damn,

About your antebellum architecture and race ideas!

It’s not 1773, or 1863;

You seemingly don’t want to live in 1963.

 

Not of this brave new world, your antebellum ways and race ideas!

William T. Sherman scorched the blood cotton fields.

All is lost, yes!, all is lost – the Lost Cause.

We march to the beat of a different drum major!

 

William T. Sherman scorched the blood cotton fields,

As the Union Army marched to the sea to claim victory.

Yes, we march to the beat of a different drum major,

Marching, singing, and overcoming your hate.

About William Eric Waters, aka Easy Waters

Award-winning poet, playwright and writer. Author of three books of poetry, "Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass: Remembrance of Things Past and Present"; "Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats"; "The Black Feminine Mystique," and a novel, "Streets of Rage." All four books are available on Amazon.com.
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