On an autumn day in Belle Mina,
With cotton bolls bursting into clusters of white,
Papa Jack and Joe would talk,
Count bugs off the crop,
And look at one another with ancestral eyes.
Previous caretakers of the land,
Poets of the brown-bagged bottle,
Battered the women they were supposed to love.
And those who hadn’t, left town—ran off.
Joe worried about the legacy that he would leave.
And in an effort to guide him,
Jack spoke of the Lord,
And in his heart, Joe wanted to believe.
I watched him on Sunday
Fidgeting in his clothes,
Ignorant of the sins
Sticking to his sleeves.