Rednecks and Roller Coasters

Published in Picayune Magazine, 2011

They never knew that Toughskins

weren’t in,

weathered hands and cavities,

were the order, not enough hands

translates to more work.

Designer britches, hmmph.

Their lives were not cluttered with opinions and taste.


Town was all that, bats

marionetted through mosquitos and dusk

as they walked in from Saturday’s crop,

packing up in neighbor’s pickup

and counting the fourteen green mile-markers.

Star Carnival seldom sets up shop

and for five hours it outweighs

every minute of other thoughts,

the field and the four wheeler.


The freckles and candy apples

even outweigh those stupid britches.

They’ll never know about

the vain denim designer from Vermont,

a cloppety wooden coaster

and the spotty bulbs of the ferris,

they dictate now.

The city, see, cannot conceive

that work is what they

know, cannot grasp how

they do not get

said, stupid designer.


but simplicity’s brisk gust

blows sufficient

through the midway and mirrors,

the small glow of dust and laughter

becomes a warm fog, night knocking.

There are squeals from the old house, and Billy,

armored in his Toughskins, walks

his little sister home.