The Dixie Café, by Mary Theroux

The Dixie Café
by Mary Theroux

Bypassed by the highway,
mislaid in time,
“The Dixie” held tight.
On the square
in Byrdstown, Tennessee
up the Cumberland Plateau
hard by the Kentucky state line.
People divided
by drawn boundaries
isolated by musty grudges –
still Blue or Gray.

Johnnye fried the catfish
green tomatoes
hush puppies
that soothed her aging town
while businesses died
one by one.

Then came the music –
banjo and guitar,
a doghouse bass.

They come down now
from Somerset
drive up
from Nashville –
meet at the borders of their lives.
Locals, outlanders
bluegrass and gospel
playing for tips
and their own melodic passions.

Mary Theroux


“Charmaine at The Dixie Cafe” Durwood Edwards

“Charmaine at The Dixie Cafe”, Durwood Edwards

Inspiration for this poem was a weekend spent on the Cumberland
Plateau realizing that local blood-relatives had not spoken for
generations because of bad feelings associated with the Civil War and
its aftermath, but who now mingled at weekly music nights recently
started in a cafe in their small town.

Mary Theroux lives in a natural-wood chalet in a forest of tulip,
hickory, and dogwood in Davidson County, Tennessee. She sculpted in
stone and steel for many years but has returned to an early love of
writing poetry as a late-life pursuit.

Durwood Edwards is a musician and photographer living near Nashville, Tennessee.

RWJ issue 4

more rwj


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