Tradition is more important in the South than reform.
— Walker Percy

When I first heard of you
I couldn’t help but ask
why didn’t you go all the way
and name yourself
Confederate Flag,
or Daughters of the Klan since
on TV you said
it was a name that shows your
devotion to that trickster
better known as tradition?

After all, tradition is a
tricky thing, a biting whip un-
lashed by genteelly dressed
gentlemen who are anything but
gentle, wearing smiles on faces
driveled with guilt from
stolen pleasures, another rape
of feminine property who failed
to understand that property must
submit, not fight back or complain,
the justification used by the fore-
father whose legacies you exalt
for scaring backsides with
welts and scabs that still fester in
our minds, marks that remain as
indelible impressions on brains that
bleed anew when you dance and sing
in the contrived innocence that you
adorn yourself in while on stage.

But, one question remains:
since you’re such a slave to your own
tradition, how long will it take
for you to go all the way and
pull out your great, great, great,
grand mammy’s cork,
place it under flame,
Scarlet paint smearing your lips,
and celebrate yourself in blackface?

Related: More ‘Viva Macondo’ entries

Reggie Scott "Doc" Young is a current member of the Macondo Workshop's board. As a writer and scholar, he served as professor of creative writing and American literatures at the University of Louisiana...