Kathryn Stripling Byer

(1944 / Camilla, Georgia)

Kathryn Stripling Byer Poems

1. Coastal Plain 9/7/2016
2. Mountain Time [excerpt] 9/7/2016
3. I still can't get it right 9/7/2016
4. Vanity 1/20/2003
5. Diamonds 1/20/2003
6. Wildwood Flower 1/20/2003

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Best Poem of Kathryn Stripling Byer

Wildwood Flower

I hoe thawed ground
with a vengeance. Winter has left
my house empty of dried beans
and meat. I am hungry

and now that a few buds appear
on the sycamore, I watch the road
winding down this dark mountain
not even the mule can climb
without a struggle. Long daylight

and nobody comes while my husband
traps rabbits, chops firewood, or
walks away into the thicket. Abandoned
to hoot owls and copperheads,

I begin to fear sickness. I wait
for pneumonia and lockjaw. Each month
I brew squaw tea for pain.
In the stream where I scrub my own ...

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