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Emma Jean

Some say it's just a rumor...

by David S. Smith
April 29, 2006

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Emma Jean
Some say it's just a rumor
Though some still can recollect
The night that Emma Jean went partying'
With her influential friends.

She must have thought she had impressed
The local socialites
When she got an invitation
To the hunting lodge that night.

But the sheriff had no comment,
And the Standard never said
How she got to the infirmary
And later wound up dead.

Not the doctors or the lawyers
Were able to explain
The cigarette burns they found
All over Emma Jean.

And no one knows where Scottie was
Or if he was involved.
But it did seem strange to some
No postmortem was performed.

It doesn't really matter 'cause
It's not just who you know.
It's to whom do you belong
And to whom can you be sold.

Comments (5)

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Brooks Gardner from Mebane, NC writes:
April 29, 2006
Emma Jean is really good. A touch morbid, but good.

I have some suggested reading for David:

Final Vinyl and Other Stories by Jill McCorkle: Random House. She has lived in New England and has moved back home to North Carolina.

A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler. Professor of English at Florida State.

Roy Blount, Jr. Grew up in Georgia and mostly lives in Massachsetts. He often appears on NPR. All of his books. Robert E. Lee and Roy Blount's Book of Southern Humor.

All of Pat Conroy, especially his cookbook

Doug Marlette, yes the politicial cartoonist. His first book, The Bridge. Another coming in the fall.

Clyde Edgerton, any of his works.

And most certainly: Faulkner, and Tennessee Williams.

Thanks for your poem, Emma Jean, send more!


R Fairchild from Atlanta writes:
July 10, 2006
Interesting poem, especially to those of us who know a little about Brewton, Alabama (home of the Brewton Standard). But I don't know enough, apparently. Was there a real Emma Jean? What's this about?

David S. Smith writes:
July 16, 2006
As the poem indicates much is recollection and rumor, but there was an Emma Jean and apparently she did die from wounds inflicted on her by some doctors and lawyers at a hunting lodge one night. And, supposedly, Scottie was the sheriff at the time, though, as one friend told me, no one knew where he was, or if he was involved. Suzanne Hudson's novel In a Temple of Trees is based on the incident I believe.

But, that's just a rumor.

Deb from Mobile from Mobile writes:
August 27, 2006
Hi neighbor. Interesting poem. Left lots of unanswered questions. How? Who did it? Why? Where? When? Fact? Fiction? What was the inspiration? All that. You got me curious now.

Donna from Troy,Al writes:
September 1, 2007
My son sent me you poem about Murder Creek..and I have since sent your work to my brother who lives in Brewton..My kids grew up there and there was probably many things in Brewton and East Brewton that will never see light of day..but we loved EAST BREWTON. Going through the woods to get to Fort Crawford..visiting all the graves... Still, dig around somemore, there are plenty of good stories there. Really good work!

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