The Dead Pecker Bench

The Dead Pecker Bench

Three old farmers sit
on a green bench near the popcorn stand
across from Pat’s Variety on Main.

Deep furrows in sunburned faces
cut from bottomless black soil.

Spitting dark phlegm into hot wind
that lands on cracked cement.

Sharing bags of Jolly Time popcorn,
dirty jokes and today’s corn prices.

Farm boys in jacked-up pick-ups,
drive up and down Main all night,
burning rubber on cracked cement.

Their bodies, wiry and smooth,
slide through prairie wind unbroken.

Joking about the dead pecker bench,
this spit of a town they will soon forget.

Chugging piss-warm six-packs
of Schlitz, honking at the town cop.

Tomorrow all will pray for rain
from solid church pews. On Monday,
they’ll cuss blue sky from tractor seats.

 

Published in Prairie Winds, Spring 2007

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