Boûts-Rimés: God’s Grandeur (1934)


In black-and-white, five children in a god-
forsaken shanty of loose boards, tin foil
and tar-paper, newsprint soaked in oil
to let in light. Fish caught with a cane rod
is just a wish. At sunset cotton-rows, trod
barefoot, leave picking-sacks near empty. Toil
all day, crave all night—all Georgia such poor soil
that only hunger grow, and aches, and slip-shod
caravans. Grimy little faces, bodies spent
clean out, minds shaped in a one-room life by things
the half-dead tell themselves: Once we all went
across to Beulah Land, ‘twere like rank springs
made clean, peanuts to eat, rickets-legs unbent—
just think of it—already it’s like wings.

Katherine Williams

Katherine Williams has published four chapbooks and read at venues from the Los Angeles Poetry Festival to the College of Charleston’s Halsey Gallery. A Pushcart nominee, board member of The Poetry Society of South Carolina, and one of Richard Garcia’s Long Table Poets, Katherine Williams’s poems appear in SpillwayProjectorDiagramBlue Arc West: An Anthology of California PoetsThe Southern Poetry Anthology, Vol. 1: South Carolina, and elsewhere. She is a career biomedical research technician, and lives on James Island, SC, with poet Richard Garcia and their dog Max.