In the Counselor's Waiting Room Background

In the Counselor's Waiting Room Background

Published in 1981, "In the Counselor's Waiting Room" is a representative example of the poetry of Bettie Sellers. Her verse often paints quick narrative snapshots of the people of Appalachia, their history, culture and the influence of religion on their lives.

Sellers celebrates the sense of community, the hard work and the serious commitment to values that mark the character of the people living in the hills and very small towns in north of Georgia especially, but tracing a cultural lineage through Tennessee and into the Carolinas. In this poem she makes specific mention of how deeply ingrained into that character the values of the Baptist church by linking those spiritual certainties to the soil itself.

"In the Counselor's Waiting Room" thus also exhibits how Sellers was never afraid to shy away from the darker regions of a moral conviction worthy of being held up to doubt. The poem's linking of Baptist history with homophobia becomes the flip side of the positive ramifications of that history that she explores and extols elsewhere in her verse.

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