Tuesday, October 25

Country girl

I've spent my life cringing
at the Hollywood versions
of my supposed accent.

Each year they get it wrong
and play up the silly words
while ignoring the melody
of my voice,
each syllabel's timbre
more varied than a banjo's.


My youth was spent
playing hopscotch
on black grasshoppers,
their guts glowing green
on the shimmering asphalt.

Grandmaw insisted that we eradicate them
with our "tinny shoes"
before they munched her gladiolas
completely out of existence.

On hazy evenings
with scabby legs
we hid in the alleyways
of sprawling hay bale cities,
careful to avoid the darker crevices
where spiders hung
and watched us play.

The locusts screaming,
we gathered on the back porch
to rock in the swing
and watch the adults
pluck ticks from the dogs' fur
like exotic grey fruit
teeming with deep red juice
that we would stomp
into the concrete
with delighted disgust.


Ignoring the sweat
beading on our spines,
we slogged through corn
up to our knees
inside giant metal bins,
moths fluttering
against the dust and sunlight,
our laughter echoing endlessly.


Blogger Wendy said...

Only you could make tick-killing beautiful.

Tue Oct 25, 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Thanks. :)

Wed Oct 26, 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a vivid, lush poem! It makes me miss my childhood. We killed our ticks with smoldering cigarette butts, however.

Thu Oct 27, 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger Your friendly Maytag repairman said...

I wonder if I could come up with something equally poignant about suburban life....

Thu Oct 27, 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

PT, thanks! My mom and grandmother used to inflict cigarette pain on ticks, too. They would just explode. Gag.

Cox, I'm sure you could. You had something poignant to say about those cigs of yours.

Fri Oct 28, 08:02:00 PM  

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