"Katy's Sunfish," the poem for March: a little context
Inspired by the work of Fred Chappell and Kathryn Stripling Byer, I decided to try my hand at dramatic monologues, poems spoken by fictional mountain people. My personae were farmers, a teacher, a couple of artists, a factory hand, a girl named Katy. I arranged the voices by age and season, starting in the spring with Katy, ending in winter with the oldest, a man living alone, afraid of being resettled in a memory care facility. The series is entitled Donahaw County, a name taken from Donnaha, the name of a settlement on the Yadkin River—the name of the last chief of the Saura tribe of Native Americans.
My favorite character is Katy, a wild child, a spirit of nature. I like her fantasy world and her "real" setting, a farm in Donahaw County, in northwestern North Carolina.
The poem was first published in Kentucky Poetry Review, later, in Johnny's Cosmology, and, most recently, in Cold Spring Rising, available from Press 53: