Thursday, February 18, 2010

Down Here

We’re different down here, it’s true:
quick to laugh
quicker to shoot,
it sometimes makes no difference;

hot like the weather,
warm as gulf tides…

     Carl and Junior will do anything
     for you;
     fix your brakes or watch
     your back against strangers,
     but they’ll turn on you like mad dogs
     for the slightest provocation,
     inadvertent shoulder bump,

     They tolerate Jesus ‘cause he’s Mexican
     and can work like a mule;
     works like their fathers could,
     holds his own
     and they got to respect that…

whelped from sturdy stock, we’re
bred for drought and meanness,
lean and rough
as livestock;
we can run all night
rough at the edges
ragged as white trash,
sweat-stained and ripe
wearing out early in the heat of summers,

our time measured in dog years,
retired to the porch so early,
too angry,
too fat.

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