26 July 2008

you wish upon a star, and it turns into a plane. i guess that's right on par, who is left to blame?

New River Valley Fair, Dublin, VA, July 26, 2008

just so there's no misunderstanding, I plan to vote for Obama

The photos above are from the NRV fair in Dublin, VA. This is the second year I've posted photos of the fair...here are the photos from last year. This morning, before going to the fair, I bought a book of poems by Bob Hicok at the Blacksburg YMCA thrift store. Someone had left a thank you note on page 13 (thank you for not pushing...something, the writing faded and became unclear). In any case, the note marked this poem.


She said I looked like jesus, and it was true. I looked
like the Jesus of Dayton
and Topeka, black hair brushing my shoulders and thin

as martyrdom, flesh denied but not vanquished, eyes blue
and deep-set, shadowed
like those in paintings she'd grown up with, the Savior

of dining rooms and VFW halls. A maid forever, she'd lived
on her knees, black
skin crosshatched with a web of white lines,

which from a distance looked like powder. We worked in a home
for the retarded,
each man having fallen from the womb with key

chromosomes snapped, though where I saw accident she found
plan. She talked
to God and God talked back, a running conversation

about degreasers, her son, the cabdriver from Trinidad
who refused to right
the cross hanging upside down from his mirror. Crazy

if you'd just met her, determined if you knew she was eighty,
alone, poor
because she believed the nonsense about love

and grace as discovered in acts rather than words, meaning
canned peaches, Wonder
Bread, even the transistor that no longer caught

any music that floated above 95 on the AM dial, were given
to kids and junkies
without question, without doubt that all human needs

are divine. My last day she asked that I stand in a doorway
for a picture. And
I was good, didn't ask if she perceived the irony

of a black believer wanting the image of a white agnostic,
but smiled, allowed her
to adjust my hair, and tried my best to suppose

redemption was not only warranted but possible, that
I could hang
from a cross and think of anything but revenge.

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