A Portrait of Marriot Bradden

Riding on a Pepsi truck
from Christmas to Wauchula
There are the memories of the dolls
we loved on Oak Street
and hamburgers I ate rare
in their kitchens on cold nights
Then the King's horses were unstabled
and we rode like the dock fires
to the rafters of the port sheds
But we learned to love necessities
with the Primitive Baptists
though it was never twelve o'clock
when we stopped by the roadside
the yellow susans got pissed on
And the old men with vinegar jugs
stood there too
laughing so hard they spit
though it was never twelve o'clock
when the mockingbirds caught up
the gold straw from the strawberry fields
I loved the rain-soaked backs
of the hogs and motorcycles in Mulberry
like noon with overlapped hands
I reckon death is not kinder
but spring hasn't bothered since

David Swoyer
Contents | Mudlark No. 1
The Midway | The Visitor Came One Morning