Not from the wrong side of,
but right on the tracks,
from the storybook land
of the Boxcar Children,
buttercups, milkweed leaning,
down long slopes of grass
from our yard to rails and ties.
Not poor, never poor, not wanting
for meat or fruit, for light or heat,
but burning the way
we Americans burn, climbing
each slippery rung of the beanstalk
up to a well-feathered nest, a golden egg.
I grew up thinking goddamn
was a color, a brand
we'd been sucker-sold and stuck with,
grew up believing
that all our appliances bled.
The neighbors had Buicks or Fords
and my grandpa had a Goddamn Car,
the goddamn lawn to mow,
the bloody washing machine on the blink,
the goddamn woodpeckers up on the roof
on Saturday morning, pecking away
on the TV antenna
that one goddamn time
he wasn't ripped out of bed
at the crack of dawn.
When she just couldn't stand it herself,
my grandma said "G.D." -- "Get back in the G.D. house
and drink your milk!" And I said "dod damn,"
as in "Dimmee a dod damn cookie, please," or
"Here come that dod damn train again,"
as the rusty boxcars
blasted on by, rattling the spoons
inside of our drawers,
making the peeling panes hum.
And later, when it roared back
in the belly of night, that train
rocked us all awake to kick off
warm blackest or tuck them
more tightly around each other,
then rocked us back to dreamland
with clack-chukka rhythms,
the bums in red boxcars asleep
in its clattering song:
3:15 A.M. and all is well
on the dead end of Orchard Street, all's well
in the USA, in the goddamn world.
By: Andy J.B.
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)