Honey and Vinegar

It’s time for the first-ever guest-post on Running In My Head.

We all process change differently, and sometimes that change brings conflict that, on the whole, we’d rather avoid. And as we work out the cacophony in our heads, we write words unintended for anyone else.

But then a trusted friend comes along and they say “more people need to hear this.” Today, I am that friend, and it is my privilege to share with you a poem sent to me by one of my friends, and shared with their permission.

“Honey and Vinegar


The South, like all true Southerners, 
      paints a pretty picture and puts on a pretty face –
     A smile marked with lines of pride, hurt, perseverance, a love of comfort and
      the stubbornness of the mules that plowed her fertile soil.

She offers the sweet tea of acceptance to her children
     who know their place, cling to Lost Causes, keep stead,
     and happily attend the wedding of God and Country,
     smiling bridesmaids bearing bouquets of bullets.

She is our mother and, like all Mommas, she rules the roost. 

If you cross her, there comes the switch.
    The “bless your hearts” tossed like a bomb wrapped in velvet.
    “Y’all come back” means it’s time for you to leave.
    If you wrinkle, if you rankle, she will remember.

In her ancient, folksy phrases is the adage,
“A cat can have kittens in the oven but that don’t make them biscuits.”
A reminder that just because you’re here, doesn’t mean that you belong.

Momma alone decides, and an outsider will never truly be home.

Her own children are not immune. The sons and daughters
    who call for change or are tired of Sunday social clubs 
    or dare to say that Momma is wrong,
         can experience a dark alchemy
               where biscuits become kitts
                     outsiders and alone
                            and I am a kitten in the oven now.

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