in yellow clover
(For Katharine Lee Bates, 1859-1929
who loved, and was loved by, Katharine Coman, 1857-1915)
That such a one was not undone
by a home costumed as house,
as merely abode within the code
defining a legitimate spouse,
would have been helpful to know
as we tried to grow, chorusing full-
throated belief in her purpled
mountains and plains of fruit,
— new recruits to the double song
hailing a land that promised to span
any discouraging word that might
someday be heard on this home
on a range grand enough for Solomon
Levi with his shops of rough
cloth, while the Spanish Cavalier
played on his guitar, a tune dear...
so near to, and all at once,
de camptown races
sing dis song...
before we learned
of the autos-da-fé.
JANET JOYNER'S prize-winning poems have been honored in the 2011 Yearbook of the South Carolina Poetry Society, Bay Leaves of the North Carolina Poetry Council in 2010, 2011, Flying South in 2014, and in 2015, as well as anthologized in The Southern Poetry Anthology, volume vii, North Carolina, and Second Spring 2016. Her first collection of poems, Waterborne, is the winner of the Holland Prize and was published by Logan House in February, 2016.