Friday, January 13, 2017
Rachael Mead #2
after Cornelius Eady
Some think of country music as a lonesome cowboy
keening his heartbreak along to the radio in his pickup.
My mother would tell you about the man she followed,
blind as a cow trotting in the tracks of the Judas steer,
straight to the slaughter. He left her out west, with a heart
collapsing in on itself and a child with his eyes, learning
that the belly is the most vulnerable part of the beast.
She would say bad choices hang in the air like off notes
and that metaphors are just beautiful, empty lines.
She grafted her life back onto her childhood
and tried not to look her daughter in the eyes.
I would tell you that a country song is a mother
who chose the wrong man, twice. The first from love,
unrequited. The second because heartbreak can make
even a poor choice feel like water in the desert.
What does a seven year old know of romance?
What can she do when her mother kneels down,
squeezes her hands and says be good, be quiet, be nice.
How can she know, when her mother chooses an instant
family of five, that the wrong man must seem better
than none at all. This is the way a country song works.
Don’t look your daughter in the eyes. It’s such a beautiful line.