Kari Gunter-Seymour: An Appalachian Woman’s Guide to Beer Drinking
Belly up, you beautiful thing, strong-legged
and twang-drawled, raised holler to mountain top,
rich in root, fed on lard biscuits and bacon gravy.
Lick at the long-necked bottle, your tongue
a divination, your face a fist, two sweat-moons
where breasts ache to swing and sway.
Unclasp those bindings and all who contrive them,
their straps and underwires camouflaged in curlicues,
icy hands groping, the pitiful way you must offer
bits of your body, your land, to earn so little
as a pine-splint stool at their stars-and-stripes table.
Drink to the twisted torch of freedom, washed down
with fracking waste, red clay dust, the bitter soot
of coal’s see ya later sucka! Say Hell Yes,
to the crack and splinter of misogynist pulpits.
Give rise your manifesto, each word
draping the bud-point of every bough,
your body never again obliged, your song
a rush of wings, like souls releasing.
First published in Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel. From Alone in the House of My Heart (Ohio University Swallow Press). Copyright 2022 Kari Gunter-Seymour.
Kari Gunter-Seymour is the founder/executive director of the Women of Appalachia Project and the Poet Laureate of Ohio.