We got 6 bars and 6 churches,
each with similar congregations.
You might say we got that perfect
balance between grace and humiliation.
It doesn't end there, though.
We're run by a council of six,
if you include the mayor, Orin,
who lost the state election
because he couldn't represent
a cow if he had
crayons and construction paper.
He's got some creds,
if you take into account
he built a tractor museum
in a train depot
moved a half mile down
a minimum maintenance,
travel at your own risk road,
frequented by the hormonal.
But I digress. Oh yes,
we have a council of six,
each from one of the six
each from one of the six
houses of libations.
However, every first Saturday,
they meet, informally so to speak,
under the torn tarp at Ernie's,
next to the beach volleyball pit
nobody uses, between the dumpsters
and the railroad tracks,
to discuss matters too urgent
for the formal published minutes.
They crinkle their Grain Bin cans
like phrenologists picking
out small crimes that paint
this town true, rural,
cordoned off at the rim.
Few years back, they annexed
Bob Olson's back forty
for one helluva football complex
for our losing team. GO DRAGONS!
But we gotta have it.
Pay itself off in five years they said.
Rentals, events and all that claptrap.
Gloria walks her dogs on the track
everyday. Return on investment.
R O I.
At least she picks up the ****.
Third and Main got ripped up
a year ago last April.
Ain't been paved yet.
I suppose we're waiting
for those more appropriate
appropriations to accrue.
But that's alright,
we saved a fortune firing
our Andy and Barney PD
while Andy was in Afghanistan.
Don't know how they got away with it.
We get two hours of laws a day,
Deputy Dawgs, and meanwhile,
somebody's siphoning gas.
Pretty much sure it's that Keiser kid,
can't hold a job anyway.
I thought better of mowing the lawn today.
I looked at it a bit. Betty, across the street,
is giving me the side-eye as she sweeps
harvest dust from her shingles.
Well Bets, you fussbudget,
I'm working two jobs,
six days a week,
to live in this runt of a town,
so back the hell down.
You may be eighty and spry,
but you got five, count 'em five
courters with John Deere riders tending.
You see, here in the heartland,
where politic is a game played
with cheap beer and hard glances,
where the clapboard houses lose their paint,
where the new, polished surrounds
of seamless siding dictate appearance,
priority and expenditure,
where the churches and bars conspire
to define reputation and aspiration,
the manure-booted men
are denied the dignity of manure
for a sham - for a show
that barely covers the crust and wrinkles
of a town dying slow.