Crying in the South

Shelby Curran

Head of crawfish
by the twist of father’s old hands.
Meat drenched in fatty, yellow excess
grinding between teeth
as claws dangle.

Pregnant mare in the night
malnourished in the field of overgrown grass
her right leg lame
earth’s core dried
within her shoe.

Glass doors of grandfather’s gun case
begging to be opened by the retired pilot.
Bullets from polished pistols and rifles
striking the neck of a buck
in the backyard of the farm house.

Ceramic angels on a Christmas tree in February
no longer simmering with winter snow
chipped off corners of their faces
fading under harsh lamp light
with sunken in cheekbones.

Jewish girl walking barefoot on back roads
and Exodus awaits her
looking back at ruin, like Lot’s wife
towards Sodom.


Shelby CurranShelby Curran graduated from Florida State University in 2017 with a degree in English: Editing, Writing and Media. She currently works in children’s publishing. Her writing has appeared in The Miami Herald, Snapdragon Journal, Panoply (Editors’ Choice) and others. Her work has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.