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Sanders, Kay / That red dirt road
(2010)

Weather map,   pp. 25-26


Page 25

Weather Map
A flash on CNN shows the weather map
eighteen degrees in Birmingham
and then on to other places across the nation
but I am frozen to the spot
a place no longer on the map
a cotton mill village
boundaries absorbed now
by the next town over spreading
in a cacophony of six-lane traffic
lined by franchise shopping
all the way to Birmingham.
A spark kindled in my heart warms
to that place in the southland
where the temperature has dipped
to eighteen degrees
a three-room house in 1950
across the tracks from Buck Creek Cotton Mill
where we wake-my little sister and I-to see
Aunt Lillie with her back to the space heater
chenille robe hitched up to let the red glow
of the gas flames warm her legs
and she tells us once again
how a girl she knew
got too close to a space heater
and her flannel gown caught fire
and she burned to death.
25


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