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Flycatcher – January 2013

If I had to come up with a certain way to describe this issue, it would be that it is about reminiscing, of looking back into the past and either wishing to return to that time, or just appreciating it for what it was.

If I had to come up with a certain way to describe this issue, it would be that it is about reminiscing, of looking back into the past and either wishing to return to that time, or just appreciating it for what it was.

Angelina Oberdan’s poem speaks of remembrance: “He watches his son, and remembers a younger child / who never worried over fishing, / who never thought there could be no fish.”

David King’s “Going to Valdosta” reminisces about being younger, road tripping with the family to South Georgia. It is packed with tight memories, such as this one:

Once we had a blowout, outside Tifton,
And the Oldsmobile spun into the median.
We ate peaches in the weeds,
While my father changed the tire
As easily as he might have changed his shirt.

But as reminiscing often does, it makes him want to go back to that time, when things were supposedly “easier”:

I’d like to have the world
That small again, that certain.
I’d like to know that I
Could always get back home.

Beate Sass’s “Tall Timbers Plantation Project” is a collection of photographs of and comments from the former Tall Timbers Plantation tenants and their families. Every person was photographed with an object that is important to them: plants, a harmonica, a photograph, etc. Hattie Mae Sloan’s bare feet stick out from underneath a Maid-Rite washboard in her photo. Sloan, too, looks back, but perhaps not at easier times:

The washboard is one of the things my mother had . . . “Oh, I would love to have that” . . . to tell my kids and my grandkids about how easy they have it now. They don’t realize how tough things were back then, that you had to rub the clothes on your hand, then you had to rinse them . . . hang them up, [and] take them in. But now, kids have the washer and dryers . . . all they do is let them stay in until they boil up and they just don’t know how blessed they are.

Karissa Knox Sorrell’s “July Beans” is an ode to the summer “the hummingbirds drank / Grandma out of Kool-aid”:

        She came up once or twice to check on
me, rescuing a dozen poorly pulled beans
from the kettle and piling them back into my lap.
In the garden my grandmother filled two baskets:
one for the ripe things, another for the rotten,
and behind her the wind tried to help
white sheets escape the line.

In “Fox Blossoms” by Michelle Nichols Wright, foxes frequent the cemetery where the narrator’s mother is buried. The foxes take away the flowers and feed them to their pups, and even though the old women complain, “the groundsmen only gather the torn petals when the foxes are done.”

There is a serious amount of work within this issue, more than I could ever mention in even a full length review. Take the time to slowly read it, going through page by page, and really let it sink in.
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