To the Long Islander Waxing Poetic about a Fast Food Chicken Leg

Southerners take comfort
Not in a liquor bottle filled with escape
But in food that brings them back home.
Collards and turnip greens and mustard greens, too.
Fried taters and mashed and smothered with
With sawmill gravy or red-eye if you’re brave.
Okra, cream corn, tomatoes fried green
Sliced onions, pickles and four types of peas.
Pole beans, green beans, pinto beans,
And butter beans big as your thumb.

When necessity makes the Colonel
The modern version of a yesterday meal,
I hanker for a plate filled with real food
Not approximated potatoes and a
Ten-pound chicken bucket
Filled with breaded regret.
Give me hamhocks and pork chops and
Fried chicken, filling long tables of
Sunday Dinner after church, with
No Yankees allowed.

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