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About this poet

Judson Mitcham is the author of A Little Salvation: Poems Old and New (University of Georgia Press, 2007), Sabbath Creek (University of Georgia Press, 2004), This April Day (Anhinga Press, 2003), and Somewhere in Ecclesiastes (University of Missouri Press, 1991). He is the recipient of fellowships from the Georgia Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. He lives in Georgia.

Etiquette

June goes gaudy with bad boutonnieres—
flamingo mimosas, the giant
magnolia's bowl of petals. Let us consider

the man not welcome at the wedding.
What's the etiquette for the bad father?
What's the right flower for the ignored-

with-good-reason, the uninvited? A hydrangea,
head wide as a cabbage; or the bull thistle
wild along the roads; or a dandelion,

only a stalk stuck to his lapel by the time
he insists on their dance? He is a sad weed
himself, this man who has no daughter

but tries to hold her.

From A Little Salvation: Poems Old and New by Judson Mitcham. Copyright © 2007 by Judson Mitcham. Reprinted with permission of the University of Georgia Press.

From A Little Salvation: Poems Old and New by Judson Mitcham. Copyright © 2007 by Judson Mitcham. Reprinted with permission of the University of Georgia Press.

Judson Mitcham

Judson Mitcham

Judson Mitcham is the author of A Little Salvation: Poems Old and New (University of Georgia Press, 2007), Sabbath Creek (University of Georgia Press, 2004), This April Day (Anhinga Press, 2003), and Somewhere in Ecclesiastes (University of Missouri Press, 1991). He is the recipient of fellowships from the Georgia Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. He lives in Georgia.

by this poet

poem

        at The Funeral for 13,000; Andersonville
         Historic Site, September 19, 2015

Every prayer once prayed here is still in the air,
but there is also that old wine of astonishment, caught
in the throat. So who are we to have gathered here,
even in praise, even humbled