WHEN IT BECAME CLEAR that I didn't know how to do any- thing to make a living, in other words when it became clear that the promise of my sensibility was not a lucrative promise, Daddy kindly sent me off to Tulane to get my M.S.W, it being agreed on all hands but my own really that social work was an appropriate field for a young woman who had insisted for many years that she was interested only in the nature of experience and what it meant to be human. I was twenty-two. My father had stopped repeating his observation that I was a "hellcat," but nobody had ever paid me for a poem. I was, after all, grown up, they said, and so for the fifth time I left my home in Hunter County, Mississippi, a home that I had treated as a sort of halfway house for some years by then, and went out into the world. NEW ORLEANS Although, indeed, some unfortunate romances and some unsuitable jobs had sobered me somewhat, I was nowhere near Mama's prime idea that the Plan is all right and we are just wrong. In fact, I was still thoroughly
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1988
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