© 2011 blackhermes


in a bar in a little southern town

there’s a ruddy-faced man

knocking back bourbon and laughs

obscene santa, whitehaired

a man who likes to say things like

“take a lickin”


“sho nuff”


who hangs on the creaky doors of old trucks

watching bird dogs shit in tall grass


who scrapes the mud

from his boots on the front threshold


who has a million things left unsaid

between him and his children

because he was never taught to talk


his children have biblical names

wear a lot of khaki and knit shirts

and have faces thick with sunburns


he can remember the Bay of Pigs

Nixon resigns

man on the moon

Ford falling down the stairs

Reagan, descending from the Mount of Olives


his fat fingers clutch at icy drops

running down his glass

and nobody listens to anything he says