Preorder the Memphis Music Issue TODAY and lock in an exclusive limited-edition vinyl record!

Become A Member Shop Login

Photo by Ken Abbott, from Useful Work featured in Eyes on the South, May 2016.

The Confession

I could draw you a picture if I had a mind to.
Out past the last road there were woods and a still.

There were cars in front of a ramshackle barn,
the moon in a cloud and a tree on the hill.

I remember the raw December weather,
boys shouting curses and most of them drunk.

I remember the wind in the barley stubble.
I remember the man they dragged from the trunk.

The moon appeared and disappeared.
Headlights and whiskey. A tree on the hill.

We tied the knot and we threw it over.
It took half an hour for his legs to go still.

Just boys, for all that, in December weather,
settling a grievance, correcting a wrong.

I remember one shoe kicked off in the heather.
I remember my feet hurt from standing so long.

The place may be there. I could draw you a picture.
The moon in a cloud and a tree on the hill.

Damned if I know how I see it so clearly.
Don’t ask me to speak of it. Damned if I will.

Morri Creech reads “The Confession”

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.


More of Ken Abbott’s photography can be found in his Eyes on the South feature.

Enjoy this poem? Subscribe to the Oxford American.

Morri Creech

Morri Creech is the author of three collections of poetry, the most recent of which, The Sleep of Reason, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives with the novelist Sarah Creech and their two children in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he teaches at Queens University.