Assignment 252: A Lyrical Line/ I Never Picked Cotton


I Never Picked Cotton
(with love for Roy Clark and his version of the song)

I never picked cotton, but my mama did and my daddy did
and my daddy died young.
They didn’t really pick cotton, but wore cotton.
You know how it is.
My daddy was a civil engineer with blue pencils
glasses that cut straight across his face,
and pants that were five inches too short for him.
My mama was a housewife, who drank wine
from a little china tea cup, so the cup was stained red
and her teeth were stained red, but darker than blood,
so we knew she hadn’t killed anything.
My daddy died young and my mama also died young
and I’ve lived longer than either of them.
I never picked cotton. I never planned a road.
I never drank wine from a tea cup.

 Lucy Simpson, 3/12/2012


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