*Georgia Cento

A cento is composed of titles taken from another book or collection. This one is made of all the titles of Flannery O’Connor’s published short stories.

*Trigger warning!
Flannery’s use of
an unacceptable racial slur has not
been modified in this poem. Please skip
it if you disagree with this approach,
and accept the author’s respect
for your view.

© 2016 Katherine Williams
"Georgia Cento" appears in
Long-Leaf Pine’s issue celebrating the centennial of Flannery O’Connor

wise blood—
a good man is hard to find.
A late encounter with the enemy:
a stroke of good fortune—
Enoch and the gorilla,
the heart of the park.
The enduring chill,
the crop.

The barber,
Judgment Day,
a view of the woods—
the river,
a circle in the fire.

Parker’s back:
the geranium,
the peeler,
the turkey,
all the comforts of home—
the violent bear it away.

the displaced person—
you can’t be any poorer than dead.

The artificial nigger,
good country people,
the train,
a temple of the Holy Ghost,
The Partridge Festival,
the life you save may be your own.

The lame shall enter first.
Why do the heathen rage?
Everything that rises must converge.