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Chapter 4


When Sam learned about 9/11
he sighed, shook his head,
said, "We're gonna need a bigger bucket."
Got on his motor
and spent a day on the road.


Once in awhile Sam spends the evening
at Louise's little house
down by the railroad tracks.
He is always impressed with the walls,
so plumb and square,
She cooks nice country meals
good meat and three,
navy beans, fried corn, collard greens,
some cornbread from an iron skillet,
big platter of pork chops,
and sweet iced tea.
Heavy dishes laid out
on a chrome and formica table in the kitchen,
Then some blackberry cobbler
or yellow cake with chocolate icing,
says, "Louise, marry me?'
She laughs and says, "Not yet."
After dinner they play the stereo,
old blues, new blues,
and rock and roll.
Sometimes they just
break out in dance,
Sam says he believes
the Lord wants people to dance,
otherwise he'd a'given us wings
to get around with,
instead of feet.


Sam really missed Louise
when she left for New York.
Said. "How long you gonna be gone."
Louise just sighed,
said. "No idea,
there's a shortage of nurses, you know.
I'll be all right, stayin' with my cousin;
thinks they could use me at the hospital;
not everyone died, a lot of people hurt."
Sam shook his head,
said, "If we don't watch out,
the whole world's gonna end up
in that bucket, and it's tearin' my guts out."
She said, "You know my password,
I'll email ya, you can check on my computer."
He held her awhile,
watched her drive away
in her little black Camaro.
Later on he filled up the barrel
and took a bath,
but he didn't enjoy it very much.
Wished he knew something
that would help.


Louise was only gone two weeks.
When she came back,
Sam was cuttin' her grass.
She was pretty quiet,
didn't want to walk or talk,
just said, "They didn't need any help,"
Told Sam thanks for the lawn
and went inside.
Sam thought of Rob,
his Marine Corps friend,
shipped out the 17th.
Hoped he wouldn't need her help, either.
When he'd finished with the yard,
Sam knocked on her door
stuck his head in, said,
"I quit reading Tolkien till you came home,
let me know when you're ready.

r vol lindsey



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