Charm Of The South

Emboldened by the summer breeze;

Sun beating on my weathered face,

Gravel crunching beneath my leather shod feet,

Each step draws me further back in time.

Aging plantations blossom from manicured fields,

Emblazoned with flora befitting their past grandeur.

The smell of honeysuckle and cyprus fills the air;

Wondrous is this coalition of scents to the senses.

Wrought iron gates entangled with succulent ivy

Announce the arrival of weary travelers.

Startled… I flush with uncontrollable tears

To realize this beauty is merely a facade.

Hiding ugliness in vibrant color and polished hedge,

Fountains and statues scream of their opulence.

This walk, I so leisurely stroll is etched in blood,

Hoed by chain and shackle;

We gawk in awe at these marvels of charm.

Reminiscing over Scarlett and Rhett;

Nothing but celluloid dreams of an imaginary south.

What of those treated as lesser crops,

Bought and sold like cotton and tobacco,

Building, maintaining, harvesting and subserving;

Flesh and blood herded as cattle…or something less!

Where is the romance…where is the southern charm?

Remember on whose backs this was built.

Remember whose backs were broken for a profit.

Remember on whose backs these estates were preserved.

Only then can you look through clear eyes and clear conscience

At what these really were…

Prisons.

 

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

 

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12 thoughts on “Charm Of The South

  1. Southern charm in another time and place, though today, not quite as charming in most places 😦 Beautiful nevertheless, as it does draw thoughts back to those halcyon days 🙂

    • Absolutely and we as Americans tend to either choose to forget or are blind to the horrors of slavery that occurred on many of these estates. Instead we visit them today with a fondness of a time gone-by choosing to enjoy their beautiful gardens and look on in awe of the restored beauty of the homes. This I suppose is fine, but no one should ignore the fact that many of them are part of a terrible time in our history. Thank you Gilly.

  2. We also need to remember that many of our great, old, northern banks got their start as insurance companies — insuring slavery as property. So it’s ugly everywhere. But the plantation with its moonlight-and-magnolias reputation is at the top of the “ugly” pile. Great write, Dom —-

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