Sunday, March 15, 2009

THE RUBY GLASS SPOONHOLDER a poem by Bettie M. Sellers

If the yellow poplars could tell a story,
they would remember back to October, 1895:
It wouldn't have cost her much.
a souvenir from the fair to take
home to College Park where a daughter
waited with her first born, my mother.

Great Grandmother Rebecca took in the sights
of the Cotton States International Exposition,
had the souvenir vendor inscribe the spoonholder:
Cosby, love from Mama, 1895. I've wondered
if she bought one for Angie and Bettie too.

Would the red maples have chattered a bit
as Grandmother strolled past the bandstand
in time to Sousa's new march, the rousing
strains of "King Cotton?" Or if she dared
to step across the grass to take in Buffalo
Bill, Annie Oakley, colorful in feats
of daring-do with horse and gun?
I suspect that Reverend Grandfather, straight
in his high collar, would have been more likely
to draw close to hear Booker T. Washington
as he delivered a landmark address, Atlanta
Compromise, a first for members of his race.

Whatever they saw, the pair walked
on smoothed earth, the scars of war no longer
testifying to battle, vain line to stand
against the swift advance of Sherman's men.
Other of my grandparents experienced
that same march near Macon, had their home saved
by virtue of a Yankee captain and Grandfather's
Masonic pin. Atlanta, Macon, the land has healed,
a new era of progress reigned,
the maple trees had grown a share of fine new rings.

Out of the acres of exposition grounds,
a park has risen to serve other years,
other generations. Red maples,
yellow poplars wave their bright leaves
each fall, new grandmothers buy trinkets
for their young, and Great-grandmother's
ruby spoonholder sits, catching the early
morning sun on a tall shelf in my den.

Written by Bettie M. Selers as Poet Laureate of Georgia





BETTIE MIXON SELLERS - SOME FAMILY HISTORY

Bettie M. Sellers has written about her father’s people, who came to America from England in 1640, and has told how they migrated from Virginia to North Carolina. Her great grandfather arrived in Oxford, Georgia in 1837. He was a builder and furniture maker. His children spread across the state. Her own father was born and raised in the rural community of Rica, Georgia west of Atlanta. They were a family of farmers, teachers, and preachers.

Her great grandfather Seale was a circuit-riding Methodist preacher who had some connection with establishing the Georgia mountain mission school that would become Young Harris College.


Bettie M. Sellers has often spoken of her maternal grandmother who came from the piedmont of Georgia to become a student at the mountain school in 1889. Her grandmother told the young Bettie stories about her life at the school. Sellers says, “Listening to my grandmother, I had no way of knowing that one day I would myself come to Young Harris College.” Sellers became a teacher of English at Young Harris College in 1965. She became Young Harris College Emeritus, Dr. Bettie M. Sellers, retiring in 1997.

2 comments:

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

I just received recognition from Vicki Lane in at http://vickilanemysteries.blogspot.com/ in the form of a "Fabulous Blog Award" for Here, Where I Am.

I really appreciate this award from my friend Vicki and am paying it forward. Here are five picks -- some of the most frequent posters of the blogs I follow:

1. Living Above the Frost Line
2. Ruminations from the Distant Hills
3. Discriminating Reader
4. My Carolina Kitchen
5. Flint River Gallery Journal

The rules (not mine, they came with the award): You must pass it on to 5 other Fabulous Bloggers in a post. You may find their email addresses on their Profile page or, if not available, post as a "Comment" to their latest post.

You must include the person that gave you the award, and link it back to them. You must list 5 of your Fabulous addictions in the post.
You must copy and paste these rules in the post.
Right click the award icon (you can go to my blog post to do this) & save to your computer then post with your own awards.To my way of thinking, this is not only a nice tribute, it widens the reading audience.

5 of my Fabulous Addictions: poetry, reading, landscape/environment, recipes, and visual art.

Lynn Hamilton Rutherford said...

*sigh* ... I adore Bettie Sellers ... her work amazes me!!! I'm glad you posted this!!!

I love you!!!