Mother and Daughter

Growing up in the South,
she never felt she fit in,
being way too serious
and none too popular.
She came north to be educated,
and, leaning to the law,
clerked for a federal judge
and joined the Justice Department.

Reared among D.C. sophisticates,
her daughter returned to the South.
All that the mother had fled,
her daughter embraced—
football and frat parties,
good old boys and good-natured girls.
Prettier than her mother
and not so serious,
she countered blandness
with refinement
and reconciled her mother
with what she had rejected
and what had rejected her.


“No Known Restrictions: Lucille Burroughs, daughter of a cotton sharecropper. Hale County, Alabama by Walker Evans, 1935-36 (LOC)”by is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

Categories: Friends + FamilyPoetry

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Anne Whitehouse

Anne Whitehouse is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Meteor Shower (Dos Madres Press, 2016). She has also written a novel, Fall Love, which is now available in Spanish translation as Amigos y amantes by Compton Press. Recent honors include: 2018 Prize Americana for Prose, 2017 Adelaide Literary Award in Fiction, 2016 Songs of Eretz Poetry Prize, 2016 Common Good Books’ Poems of Gratitude Contest, 2016 RhymeOn! Poetry Prize, 2016 F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum Poetry Prize. She lives in New York City.

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