Jimmy Lee Sudduth's Sweet Mud

Follow me to the woods, Mamma. Show me
how the trees become canvas, how my name
lasts forever. You were right to bring me
to the woods, to this life richer than dirt
I smeared across your shirt when I first tugged
at your breast, my fingers already tipped
like a brush. I’m bent on following you
one deer trail to the next till we’re floating
above Alabama. I reckon we’re
gamblers, mamma and boy smashing berries
for salvation, rubbing rocks to tell stories.
There’s plenty rough in this world, but I seek
any smooth thing with place enough to coat
in mud like what saved me and still needs saving.


Carrie Meadows

Shannon EstlundCoquina Gates (oil and enamel on panel)