Read introduction

A daydream, digging through the dirt as a child in middle Georgia and discovering the difference between Georgia red clay and Georgia kaolin.

Red Clay and White Clay

63a9ad713388e1dec7c0ec5c60f5d087by Cody Lee Rhodes21 Sep 2013

I heard her finger
scrape the chalk board,
jarring me from impending sleep.

Phantom pains,
like fingernails
grazing old,
red dirt.

Red clay
hard as diamonds,
we'd say.
It cracked our nails.
It caked our hands.

When wet, it turned to orange
soup -- devouring pits of goop.
Wet red clay stained
our hands,
our shirts,
our pants,
our shoes.

It hid in clothing crevices,
the cool mess of sweat and smell.

Bare hands crushing
white rocks --
an intoxicating power trip
overcoming Nature's grasp.

Her white clay crumbled
easily, like sun-bleached mud.

Fingernails on this chalky
surface kept you from cringing.
It felt good on the skin --
cool and smooth.

Under proper conditions,
white clay is red clay.
Natural springs under ivory
bedrock can bubble and break
beneath your foot.

Chalk turns to mud,
treacherous mud.