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Visiting Day at Huntersville Prison

You sit on the yard with your nana,

under striped patio umbrellas.

In her best dress, and a regal hat,

she arrives straight from the temple

every Sunday. You wear Honor Grade.

Sunday is fried chicken.

She dies while you’re down.


Joseph Bathanti, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the North

Carolina Award in Literature, is author of nineteen books, most recently, a volume of poems,

Light at the Seam, from LSU Press in 2022. Bathanti is McFarlane Family Distinguished

Professor of Interdisciplinary Education at Appalachian State University in Boone, North

Carolina. He served as the 2016 Charles George VA Medical Center Writer-in-Residence in

Asheville, NC, and is the co-founder of the Medical Center’s Creative Writing Program. The Act

of Contrition & Other Stories, winner of the Eastover Prize for Fiction, was published by Eastover Press in July of 2023.

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