Neighbors

To take a walk, says the poet, pack a rod.

This is farming country.
The neighbors will believe
you are crazy
if you take a walk
just to think and be alone.
So carry a shotgun
and walk the fence line.
Pretend you are hunting
and your walking will not
arouse suspicion.

I never worry about what the neighbors may think. “The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad” etc. Some of them are out here walking with me, in the relative cool of summer morning. The others, snoozing and lazing away the only habitable part of this infernal heat wave, are the crazy ones.

But this is Tennessee. This is America. Any and all may be packing, and carrying an attitude. Best walk softly and conceal yours.

5:40/5:49, 76/97

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