M.T. Whitington

distributor to the world,
pack mule for all people,
beautiful brother in the middle,
home of the blues, birthplace of rock and roll,
barbecued pork capital of the world,
storm splitter, forever bloody eyed
river rat brawler, catfish trawler,  
bluff city of strong legs.
just passing through and hanging around a little,
the dark delta water gets in your veins and burns,
a mistress on the mangled streets of no surrender,
where the muddy river eats the wolf,
and the dark siren pulls you under.
where artesians run pure and soft through blown sand,
and the souls of sharecroppers roll with the bluesman,
little city at the center of confluence,
little city perched safely on the chickasaw bluff,
tell me your secrets... explain your influence.
i know you grow more wicked, mid south
and hotter than a humid mississippian.
i know of your trials and tribulations.
(fort pickering, yellow death, fighting pinch, civil rights),
you hosted it all and still remain spot king of cotton,
a man of a city, a laughing man still standing.
melding it all together strong, a city for all cities!
a city of firsts that knows how to game you.
(self-serve grocery, orange mound, holiday inn, fedex, st. jude),
the future lingers forever just around the corner,
sit on his lap, listen to his stories while others nap.
once again he is beautiful, swinging in temperature,
crossing the bridge again,
welcomed by the lighted m
reflecting in the pyramid, I’ve missed you.
my small town big city of hospitality calls
at the crossroads by the fountain.
never forgetting his trail of tears... a city of strong legs!

Check out more of our poems about Memphis, Tennessee on Poetry Atlas.

Main Location:

Memphis, TN, USA

Other locations:

View of Downtown Memphis with the Hernando de Soto Bridge in the background