Onehorse, OK, pop. 1,000: Saaaaaaalute

by Benjamin Myers



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.