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autumn/winter 2018
Photos Nov 2018 1.jpg

Carolina Gold Mississippi Blue (2)

by Constance Collier-Mercado

People used to throw rice at weddings. My folks used to grow rice in fields. They stopped when word spread that it hurt the birds – choked them. All I know is that shit is for the birds. Momma say, daddy’s girl that I am, I don’t see. Daddy say, city gal that I am, I can’t see. I can’t see.

Maybe I’m just too caught up in that word: Sea. That phrase: Among wanderers. That ocean: Spread across. Up above. Extending like roots of a tree from there. From where.


I tried to paint like Jonathan Green once but I left out the hats and the rice and the birds and the shrimp. There was just a Black woman in bright colors. And she was free. I think that’s how this started. Me trying to write like Vievee. Wild. Alive. Free. But, I mean, is that still Delta. Or more like the airline. They’ve got their roots and all. Just not exactly backwoods living with



So I found a shack in Mississippi with cutout windows. You’re literally in a shack they just built in the middle of the woods. Wooden. Moved up there without a husband. Without my husband. Because I got a job up there with a cousin. As a cook. Because I was trying to support our

family’s come up. No wait. That was Grandma. When she moved North. Because she was trying to support our family’s come up. Great Migration making liars of us all.


When it is time to teach she is mortified. She’s invested herself in illusions of City. 

Safety. Control. Guess I learned that trick from the conjure before me. I am of this blood if not from this land. But I am thinking. I was thinking. I’m still thinking.

Constance Sherese Collier-Mercado is an experimental writer/artist in search of all the culture she can get. Her poetry has been published in FIYAH Literary Magazine, and Linden Avenue Literary Journal, and she lives in Atlanta, GA where she is currently writing a first volume of poetry.

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