The 2River View 22.4 (Summer 2018)

Matthew S. Parsons

Betcha Didn't

I bet you didn’t know
your uncle was an undertaker
Man he done took under more men than any man had a right to
if any man had a right to anyway

Yeah, maybe he drank a little
Maybe it got to him

Maybe he spent last Friday
walking around the tree in his front yard
with a rifle shouting out for God and everybody to hear
“Damn it I’ve treed you now you coony son of a biscuit!”

I guess a person could imagine he found his way
up in that tree after that coon
and fell out
Killed hisself
the poor bastard

And maybe he did
Maybe he wasn’t all there

But I bet you didn’t know he was tough neither
I bet you didn’t know he chewed coal like cud
When you sat up straight
in the saddle
on your high horse
and he was layed up
in his homemade coffin

betcha didn’t know he spit fire

Honky Tonka

I slipped a curve
swerved on a country road
and saw a load of busters
flustered and fighting at a night time stop
with a couple rag tops slopped over to the side
of the parking lot

The dance hall stalled with all the big trucks
tucked into tiny spaces
defaced with bulky bodies
bad mileage
and silage sitting in the drivers seats

Men were creeping on the street
preaching at the air
and pairing their banned bourbon with purple pills
They were silly old boys acting like young ones
fumbling for first in a sand box boxing match
Then they left their toys in the dirt
and slipped inside to flirt with all the older women
who sinning won't abide
best leave that stuff outside

Matthew S. Parsons grew up in a farming family in West Virginia before moving to Kentucky to attend Berea College. He lives now on a family homestead and works as a musician and luthier. He is earning his MFA in creative writing from Eastern Kentucky University’s Bluegrass Writers Studio.

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