Holes in My Teeth, by Rose Smith
Don’t know why God would lend you / back to me
One of those rare poets as nimble on the page as she is on the stage, Rose Smith weaves back together a childhood punctuated by a father’s overseas military duty, a mother’s strange unraveling, and the way the land itself speaks through us, composing us into the people we will be.
The Alabama I remember echoes like tiny Sunday shoes off the hollow wooden floor of Glory, is a little red and white checked cotton dress, Grandma Middy’s smile when she turned from cooking, hurried trips to the outhouse to find it full already. My sister, Roni was baptized in a mud-bank creek in Autauga County, across the road from Glory Baptist Church. I remember only ghosts— all sizes, dressed in white baptismal robes, marching in procession from that holy flow. Autauga, place of birthing—-my body into air, self into solitude, dreams into expectation. -- excerpt, "Squatters' Rites"