The state bird of alabama

BY wendy dinwiddie

As far as we know, the state bird of Alabama is Jamie Woods, forty-seven-year-old divorcee who works part time at the One-Stop laundromat, which is also a liquor store, which is also a nail salon, which is always 10% off for students, and which only sometimes gives you fungus. And as far as we know, the state motto is “I’m going back to school for fashion design,” which Jamie calls from the Camel filter littered stoop between our apartments when we try to take out the wine bottles for recycling. And as far as we know, the state flower is QVC, which Jamie orders at night and which we find draped in jeweled ropes over the longleaf pines, the whole street blossomed into marvelush scarves and asymmetrical knit sweaters, speed buy watches with interchangeable bands and drape front textured cardigans. And as far as we know, the state tree is Jamie’s ex-husband Kenneth, who wears a fringed leather jacket and who we sometimes see leaning his branches in the window of the Pastor’s Authentic Mexican truck which is where he met his new girlfriend, twenty-two. And as far as we know, the state governor is a tomato Jamie grew last February on her stoop in a bucket and which we were all afraid to eat because the only thing ever between the apartments is Jamie and cats shitting in Jamie’s houseplants, and although Jamie says the tomato is taking Alabama in a new direction following the resignation of Governor Bentley amidst the sex scandal, we’ve yet to see any proof.

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Wendy Dinwiddie is an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama, where she serves as the managing editor of the Black Warrior Review. Her work most recently appears in Ploughshares. Find her online at or on Twitter @wendy_dinwiddie.