by CGO

It never got better than Bacon's Rebellion
Or Hinton Rowan Helper's book
It never got better than John C. Vaughn
Killing scalawags in East Tennessee
Or Bedford Forrest killing blue-bellied niggers
At Fort Pillow

It never got better than Pitchfork Ben Tillman
Roaring like a brahma bull in Congress
Or Tom Watson thundering down Justice
In a courtroom

It never got better than the eccentric old ladies
Truman Capote would write about
The saintly savantes of THE GRASS HARP

It never got better than the tastefully-polished fingernails
Of the soft, white, well-manicured fingers
Of a feminine hand, anxiously clutching the wooden filial
Of a Confederate battle flag
She would proudly wave with delight
Every time her team would score

It never got better than the copy of GONE WITH THE WIND
Laying at her feet
Which she would pick up and read
When the game got too boring

And how she would smile
When her future husband
Put his arm around her,
This beautiful, righteous,
All-too-modern woman,

A few years before
The nigger-black clouds
Rolled in from Europe
Brewing wicked weather

It never got any better than this
And it never will
Until Jesus comes back

----CGO 8/23/2018.