Seedy Underbelly of a Forgotten Deltahttps://i0.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/IMG_5929.jpeg?fit=1600%2C1067&ssl=116001067Erica SandiferErica Sandiferhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/baffb9bd2ee6f141595466755bbe357c?s=96&d=mm&r=g
To be a Deltonian, one must know the soil, one must recognize the aroma of the rain when it is arriving to quench the Delta soil’s thirst. There is no thirst like the thirst of the Delta’s soil. Rain was never enough to quench the soil, only floodwaters could attempt to satisfy its insatiable pallet for the brown waters. A-many barefeet have treaded the Delta Soil, drowned there too. The Delta soil stretches over 18 counties from Bolivar County to Yazoo County on an alluvial plain gushing with tepid waters. Deltonia, a place where food can grow in abundance, where every mouth could no doubt be fed. The Delta is a place that has the aptitude to showcase its wealth for its seraphic loam—being the most fertile soil in the world—our Delta. The soil comprises row crops of corn, soybeans, and cotton that are mostly devoured by a farmer’s defense to pest infestations in his crops.
The water can’t wash it away—the blood in the soil, not even the floodwaters. Kudzu bugs, eastern lubbers, grasshoppers, and black bloodshed. The bloodshed and water attract the bugs—this creates a bastion effect. If California crops become too wry and simmers to concrete ashes, the Mississippi Delta is the only region that holds the power to fuel America. The Delta’s soil is plentiful; it is displaced in one of the most impoverished regions in the country. This is not only devastating for the common Deltonian, but also for the healing of America with sound nourishment.
Mississippi could be the next California, or, better yet, Deltonia. By switching to specialty crops like kale, watermelon, berries, and tomatoes, the Delta’s economy can completely overturn. They can be grown commercially in The Delta, making the US chain more resilient by supplying America with lettuce if California goes up in smoke. The Delta is the only region in the world that can heal a nation’s famine.
But the soil is desecrated, spiritually futile, gushing black blood-water between our farmer’s toes. The Most Dangerous Game—leaving farmers in tears because flood waters and crop bugs set crops back at least two years. Have you ever seen a farmer cry? A farmer is our life source to wellness. If there are no farmers, there are no crops. If there are no crops, there is no food. If there is no food, there is no life. In the Delta, either you’re the hunter or the hunted. You must be striking, you must use your guile, your wit. You must use your intuition because there is something that looms, something sinister that wants nothing more for Deltonia to sink beneath the Black Indian Marshes. This was no farmer’s fault— either take the risk and feed a few, then watch the corn stalks be eaten by the bugs, and feed none.
As unfortunate as it is, the farmers are the hunted. The spiritual disconnects between wealth and economic devastation. To complete such an acquisition, field hands would be required. There is one thing true before God in a region like The Delta, a true Deltonian would rather exist in indigence than to pick fruit from a Delta crop.
Can we blame us?
The boon and the bane, the mundane, neither here nor there. Deltonia—the never new California. Agriculturally speaking, the land is gold. Spiritually speaking, the land is damned.
Maybe we, someone like me could reverse with locution. Idioms can be dynamic when authored legally. Words are healing, words are redoubtable.
Words favored by Joan Didion who could make some sense of California. I, making some sense of The Delta. If Joan owns California, I own Deltonia.