Neely-Dorsey, Patricia

U.S., (contemporary)

HOGKILLING TIME

  1. There’s a chill in the air
  2. And holidays are near,
  3. Thanksgiving’s just ’round the bend;
  4. There’s a feeling amongst country folks
  5. That’s absolute prime,
  6. Everyone senses it’s hogkilling time.
  7. Oh what a spectacle!
  8. Oh what a show!
  9. You’ll find nothing like it,
  10. If you look high and low.
  11. From sunup to sundown,
  12. It lasts the whole day;
  13. And once it gets started,
  14. Horses couldn’t pull you away.
  15. Everyone has his own part to do,
  16. With all the commotion,
  17. It feels like a zoo.
  18. The poor victim for this occasion
  19. Has long been picked out,
  20. And soon will become food,
  21. From his tail to his snout.
  22. There’s a shot and a squeal
  23. And he’s out for the count;
  24. A cut of the throat,
  25. And blood spews like a fount.
  26. In a barrel of hot water,
  27. He’s cleaned and de-haired;
  28. Amongst all the men,
  29. This giant task is shared.
  30. A skillful knife separates all parts of meat,
  31. Including pig ears, pig tail, land pig feet.
  32. The women’s task is always chittlin’s to make.
  33. There’s a boatload of goo and muck
  34. They must rake.
  35. When nighttime falls,
  36. All surround the black pot;
  37. Where the oil is bubbling,
  38. And boy is it hot!
  39. Pieces of skin are stirred with a surge,
  40. And after some time,
  41. Crisp cracklings emerge.
  42. Sweet potatoes are roasted,
  43. Right in the fire;
  44. And of these simple treats,
  45. No one ever does tire.
  46. When it’s all finally over,
  47. And the day is all done;
  48. The grown-ups are weary,
  49. But the kids just had fun.

© Patricia Neely-Dorsey. Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia. Jonesboro, AR: GrantHouse Publishers (2008).

MAKING CRACKLINGS
(Pork Rinds, Skins)

  1. First, you have to kill a hog,
  2. Then, carefully take off the skin;
  3. Cut it up in little squares,
  4. And then the fun begins.
  5. Take a big, black iron pot,
  6. Then put in some lard;
  7. As you’ll see, it’s quite simple,
  8. Nothing very hard.
  9. You wait until the oil is bubbling
  10. And it’s boiling hot;
  11. Then get the pieces that you’ve cut
  12. And toss them in the pot.
  13. Now, just stand around and tell some tales
  14. And maybe a few jokes;
  15. It’s best when you’ve got a crowd,
  16. Of good ole’ country folks.
  17. After some stirring and simmering,
  18. The skins are crisp and puffed;
  19. Then, you have a delicious treat,
  20. Of which you’ll never get enough.

© Patricia Neely-Dorsey. Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia. Jonesboro, AR: GrantHouse Publishers (2008).

About the Poet:

Patricia Neely-Dorsey is a contemporary U.S. poet, author speaker and workshop facilitator and proud resident of the magnolia state of Mississippi.

Before actively pursuing her writing career, Patricia achieved a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Boston University by working in the mental health field for 20 years in Memphis, Tennessee. Back in her home in Mississippi since 2007, Patricia has authored two books of poetry: Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia- A Life In Poems (2008) and My Magnolia Memories and Musings -In Poems (2012.).

She also travels all around Mississippi speaking at schools, churches, libraries and various civic organizations and delivering the message of a positive Mississippi and a positive southern experience. About her writing and speaking, Patricia say, “I believe that we can bridge many gaps of misunderstanding across regional, racial, cultural, generational and economic lines by simply telling/sharing our stories.” [DES-04/13]

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A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.