Back-Ball-Change

by Frankie Collins

You were 12 the year

we spent our Saturdays in

that musty basement,

 

thumbs hooked in belt loops

as our socked feet pounded out

the Southside Shuffle

 

on Mom’s green rag rug,

pausing our practice only

to drink grape Kool-Aid

 

and discuss how we

would boot scoot our way onto

The White Horse Saloon.

 

The folks wouldn’t let

us go to Nashville that year.

Or the next. And now

 

it’s ten years and six

houses later. We’re fields

away from Kansas,

 

sitting on our roof

top that’s still damp from honky-

tonk twilight. You have

 

graduated up

to Amaretto mixed with

Welch’s, and I have

 

my Colt 45

positioned between my hands,

ready to draw. The

 

party swirls out

the windows, kisses our cheeks,

joins us. We watch these

 

dancers arabesque,

backs bent to Stevie Wonder’s

superstitions. We

 

have given up hope

for that TNN limelight,

and settle for just

 

being. Our asses

are too wide for those Rocky

Mountains, anyways.