Raising Cane

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Raising Cane

by Tammy L. Brown
Southern Cultures, Vol. 18, No. 3: Politics

"How can a stolen body steal cane? Blazing sun—no sign of rain . . ."

Raising Cane

Sweetman cuts sugarcane
Blistering sunno sign of rain
Stalks tower overhead
Cutting cane ’til he dead

Caught hungrychewing cane
Juice drips from blue lipssweet rain
Sweetman ate ’til Mr. Seer’s whip cracked
Red blooms cross his back

How can a stolen body steal cane?
Blazing sunno sign of rain
Sweetman peers past husks and balk
Sweetman soars over cane stalks

High table set with pressed white cloth
King cake, red velvet, and pecan pie
Sweets: gnarled hands, backs, and minds wrought
Cutting cane ’til they die

Sugar fiends and ravaged land
Gents and madames prance hand-in-hand
Delta soil bathed in blood
“Lord, send the fire ‘stead the flood”

 

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