Polk Sally

by bartermn
While living below the Mason Dixon line I learned
about "poke salad". It's name comes from an old
southern term for a bag or a sack that you fill up by
"poking" things into it. Thus, a poke salad is a salad
made from wild greens, gathered in the fields and
put/"poked" in a sack to bring home.

Little Milton, born in the Delta, home of the Blues,
writes of Poke Salad Annie on his "I'm a gambler"
album. While I had listened to the song many times, I'd
always thought he said "Poke Sally Annie" until just
last year when my die-hard blues fan of a cousin sang it
for me.

Tonight, while on our way home from the feed store, I
asked Gin if she wanted to stop and check out our
piglet. I've been giving all our extra milk to a friend for
his pig and it's litter for about a month in exchange for
one of the piglets. I'd delivered two buckets of milk this
morning and talked to the owner who said the piglets
were ready to go anytime and that her husband would
be home at five-thirty. It was five-thirty-five when we
turned into their driveway. Dave met us as we stepped
from the truck and walked with us to the barn. Gin
hadn't seen the piglets since they were born and was
surprised at their size. I asked Dave if we could take it
home with us and he said, "Sure, did you bring a
carrying cage?" I said I had a burlap feed sack behind
the seat and went to get it while Gin chose the piglet
she wanted. On my way back to the barn, Dave's
daughter asked why I had the sack and I told her it was
for the piglet. She laughed and said I was crazy, "That's
not how you bring a pig home." I grinned and said,
"Haven't you ever heard of a pig in a poke?"

Dave had a piglet by the back legs in a few frantic
minutes, the sow didn't care for him steeling one of her
babies. I quickly held open the sack and he carefully
lowered the squealing piglet in. Except for a few
grunts, she quieted right down and almost fell asleep in
my lap on the short ride to our homestead. I sang Poke
Sally Annnie to her as I introduced her to her new
home in our barn. I guess our new piglet has been