Stacey Lynn Brown

Kristan clogged to Rocky Top

Kristan clogged to Rocky Top
at her wedding, didn’t want
her baby born a Yankee so took
a slow train south in the dusk
of her ninth month: Virginia
born in the squalling drawl
of Mama.

I left my accent in a gas station
in Kansas on the move out west.
Too much time spent
in front of audiences beaming back
sympathy for the slow wittedness
implicit in my speech:

I didn’t catch what she was saying,
but didn’t her words taste sweet?

Now it only ever comes out
when I’m back home, or drunk,
or just plain mad. Better watch
the combination of all three:
the knock-kneed grit rairin’ up
skunk drunk, palms fisted
for the rain of blows to come.