Southern Verse


One Night in December

It was the first week of December, and we’d already been getting Christmas gifts at the city water office where I work—homemade divinity, cookies…



Layla has been making Thanksgiving dinner since she was in her late teens. The first time was the year her mother died. The death…


The Sun Sets in Ransom Canyon

Landry Hale came from Lubbock, from High Plains country, where the sunsets looked so perfect they could be mirages. “The dust in the air…


Remnants of Another Time

Glen Campbell showed up at the foot of my bed three nights after he died. He said, real gentle like, “Mary Alice, you’re from…


Prodigal Summer

The rain that morning made everything worse. Afterward, steam rose from the road that whipped by my house, from the gravel that made up…


Here Comes the Sun

Julie feels it, the pulsing heat that rises above the blacktop road, shimmers through the leaves of the maple tree in her front yard….



I’d been through a few men by then. Not so many as to cause a scandal, but enough. My best friend Jimmie Ann and…


Here We Are Together

Lucette used to be a “hit-the-road, Jack” kind of girl. When things got hard in a relationship, she was out the door, no turning…


Snow in August

I used to believe in the equanimity of the world. I’d see panhandlers at intersections, their cardboard signs asking for help, and I’d believe…