Driving home tonight, I see
Loretta Lynn on a casino
billboard & take a left
turn to 1982,
where I find myself sitting
on a red braided rug
in front of the console Zenith
watching Hee Haw. Men
in overalls pop up
from cornfields, like ghosts from stony
ground, while girls with shirts tied
below their bubbled breasts giggle.
My father is somewhere working,
his back turning ever deeper
shades of red as he bends to earth
beneath the Oklahoma sun.
My grandma is bedridden
& in love with Johnny Cash,
who she says is a good Baptist.
During commercials he sells bibles,
bound in black, so I believe it.
Outside a pumpjack chugs into the haze,
& a dog whines through the screen door.
There is a block of govt. cheese
next to great grandma’s bone-
white gravy bowl on the kitchen table.
When Roy plays banjo, his fingers
jump like fleas off a drowning dog.
My mother has gone
down the gravel road that snores
when trucks dust by, to Walmart,
where she puts our school clothes
on lay-away again.
I stay with Nana.
We take care of each other
& enjoy laughing
at the dumb hicks on T.V.
Originally published in This Land: Spring 2015.