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.