The Outsiders

    Them outsiders always come up to our neck of the woods gawkin'

             at us like we're caged-bear attractions down in Cherokee.  On Sunday,

             reporters drove up to Primitive Baptist Church in a big, fine car
             we ain't never seen nor heard of, writin furously on their tablets

             and snappin' photos with their new-fangled cameras, hopin' to see

             a lost soul git bit by a rattle snake or fall out from drinkin' poison
             instead of gittin' filled with the holy ghost. On Monday, do-gooder

             government people dressed in black showed up at the school with satchels

             full of papers, askin' silly questions that ain't none of their business,

             like what is our name, do our daddies run moonshine and how many

             young'uns live in our house. They nose around waitin' to see what's

             packed in our lunch pokes, look at our worn stack a'books on the shelf,

             roll their eyes, shake their heads, and take notes on what we ain't got

             nor done, but not about how much our teacher loves us. They ain't read

             the poems we wrote after our scavenger hunt to learn mountain flora

             and fauna (Mrs. Truesdale's fancy words), nor heard us recite the pledge,

all the state capitals, little Thomas read without stutterin', nor the fiddle

             our teacher plays when she gits us stompin', clappin, and singin sweet

             Appalachian tunes. Too bad they ain't never tasted my mama's cracklin'

             bread nor felt how warm her quilts are on cold nights when the owls

             call us to sleep.  If them outsiders show up at our house, Maw-maw will be

             on the porch with her shotgun aimed twixt their judgin' eyes and holler, "Git!"




                                                                                                                                                                     Vicki Collins