True story. Thanks, Festival Tours.
God laughs at me,
fat middle-aged white lady dancing.
My fifth-grade classmates come forward in time
to laugh at me. The ghost of Isadora
laughs. The ghost of my sainted mother
tells me to stand up straight.
My pastor says “Bless her heart.” My husband
hides his face, asks kindly
if I’m up on my meds.
My hips get it. My feet get it. My cardiovascular system
gets it. My gray hairs get it. All of them
have a beat. Getting down
‘til they’re six feet under.
And in a barn outside Eunice, Louisiana,
a place so foreign I think the barbecue sauce is an entree,
as grinding zydeco shamelessly, cool-lessly raises the sweat,
a stick-figure man in low-rider jeans
has his say.
You BIG fine! And he puts his gold band against the place
his hip would be, elbow swaggering, chin tilted to heaven.
He’s not teasing. You got a husband? I tell him I do.
Naw, that’s all right, baby.
Big Fine. I wish I played poker, so I could toss it on the chips,
say Raise. Maybe the Red Hot Chili Peppers get it. Maybe
James McMurtry gets it. Maybe the Lil’ Rascals Brass Band,
kings of the Sixth Ward, get it.
And maybe I’m wrong about why God is laughing.