Austin Segrest Click to

asegrist-213Hailing from Alabama and Georgia, Austin Segrest is a PhD candidate at University of Missouri and poetry editor of The Missouri Review. His poems appear in The Yale Review, New England Review, The Threepenny Review and many others.

Standish sacked Merrymount
and drove the heathens out.
Not to be outdone,
Endicott the iconoclast
came for the crumbs,
leveling what was left
of a maypole on its hill.
I remember
in darksome Devonshire
many a maid in May
wound round the bole.
We frolicked and sang
and crowned the white queen
and pranked ourselves up
with cowslip and crowfoot.
We sported and shot
to our hearts’ content,
brave boys less intent
on prayer than merriment,
innocent of our sin,
of the very word pagan
unlike that boisterous company
that called itself merry,
rogues their lord Morton
like some antichrist
suffered to free
unto slavery
to nature and appetite,
bandettos and squaws
that knew no laws
or limits to their revelry
(our holiday lasted
but a few blasted
days).—Still, when I read
of Solomon’s green beds
and rafters of fir,
I remember.