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  • Writer's picturemarikenney

Dear Mississippi

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

I've been working on a letter to Mississippi. I moved there when I was 12 and just recently moved away. To be honest, I'm happy to be far away from that state - the way it runs and some of the people who live there who ruin it for everyone else.

Here's the start, but I'll be working through it some more, because Mississippi done f**ked me up.


Dear Mississippi,

From the moment I met you, I was intrigued by the bend and folds of your roads, your trees, and your smiles. I liked the hospitality I found there and then I moved there. I was a naïve, puberty plagued 12 year old transitioning into a woman which if I had the choice, I still would have made the same journey.

Before you, I was proud of my body. All the lumps, pimples, kinks of the curls, lazy eye, Hawaiian shirt weirdo, I was. I liked that it was my body. A body that did not shift and change for others, but for me and only me.

When I arrived in Mississippi, the air stuck to my skin like a thick blanket giving rise to extreme comfort yet extreme pressure. A feeling of being pulled down into a frostbitten slumber. My hair became a rat’s nest fighting the humid air. I bravely wore my Hawaiian shirt as I walked into the halls of my new middle school. Mistakes were made on my part, but Mississippi taught me that it is easier to fit in by falling into the molds provided. The rules set forth by individuals not qualified to run a church raffle let alone a state’s government.


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