Curtis Dunlap – Two Poems

Brickyard Road

There on the porch,
little white house
on brickyard road,
the old man sits
in a rocking chair,
pen in one hand,
notebook in the other
counting cars
as they go by.
When I was younger,
impetuous, wild youth,
I’d ride by to be counted,
drive up the road,
turn around,
drive back by to be counted
again.
Unperturbed,
the old man would make another mark
on paper,
smile,
wave…
I’d return his greeting
with a toot of my horn.
He must be in his 90s now!
Who will take his place
when he becomes
a number
in a funeral home?
The world needs more people
like that old man
because everyone
should be counted
for something.

**

Tobacco Road

Good Gawd, Gene Tierney,
I love the way you e’t
that turnip
on the silver screen
as Ellie May Lester
in the 1941 movie
Tobacco Road
.

Even as a boy of 10
I was surprised
that you did not look
thin
despite devouring that turnip
hungrily.

Yes, Gene Tierney,
you were full
in all the right places.
The Hollywood dirt
smeared on your face
and shapely legs
made you all the more
desirable to me.

How I wanted to bathe you!
reach into that small
black & white TV set,
pull you through
the airways of time,
bring you to
the real Tobacco Road,
home of Carolina Pork Barbecue,
slaw, and hushpuppies.

How I longed for you
to pull me to your bosom,
stroke my hair,
hear you say,
“Ain’t cha going to give me
just a bite, Lov?”

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