i’d like to fit you into this
James Lineberger

but i don’t see how that
could ever be
out here in a pasture before you were born
sagging unpainted picnic
tables that were made out of green wood and chunks of watermelon
lying about with yellowjackets flying around
and little girls weaving in and out between everybody
playing chase in cotton pinnys
with hats that have ribbon
trailing as they run and the cows are standing there looking
on from the other side of the kestler’s
fence and i can’t place exactly where i am
in all of this
but the creek is at the bottom
of the hill and grandpa redmond’s grave
sits over yonder by itself apart
from the others which was something that always
bothered me but i forgot
to ask grandma why and now i remember where i am i’m standing
outside the church which is white all over
with plain clear windows and no steeple
and it sits between the cemetery on the one side and the pasture
on the other and mama who always wanted to be
a preacher is in there playing the organ and all of this is just before
she calls out for me to come sing alto on
the old rugged cross
which is the main reason you don’t fit in because
in the first place you were raised a catholic and always will be
and in the second i know good
and well you would end up liking that damn crazy old song
as much as she did

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