Sometimes I want to go back –
I want to go back to the white wooden house in McColl, South Carolina.
I want to go back to the front porch where Papa sat in his old metal glider
receiving visitors with a hug and a kiss
and spitting tobacco into his old blue coffee can,
the Southern farmer’s spitoon.
I want to go back to the simple rooms with wooden floors
and beds covered with cottony white George Washington bedspreads
pristine and simple and inviting.
I want to taste the pillowy buttermilk biscuits oozing with melting butter,
the fried chicken and vegetables,
and the wooden crates filled with glass-bottled Coca-Cola.
Papa would say, “Get those babies a Coca-Cola” as soon as we’d walk up to the porch.
I want to go back to the beautiful blue hydrangeas with heads bigger than mine
that FatMama had planted many years before,
and the dogwood trees in the backyard weeping their blooms,
shielding the old peeling shed with their shade.
But mostly I want to go back to the people;
I want to visit with them, to learn from them, to laugh with them
to know, and to feel,
where I came from.
(in memory of Rose Ellen Miller Hill & James Fulton Hill)