Drinking Saved My Life

Jo and her husband Tiny
always gave me a hard time
just because I liked to dance and drink.
Tiny didnít believe none of that stuff,
but he kept telling me I was going to Hell
if I didnít stop living the way I did.
He only said it for my sister Jo.

One time Jo and Tiny gave me a ride
back up to Jax
from a visit with Mama in Delray,
them and their six kids and me
all in the same truck.
Man,  I got so thirsty
I just had to stop for a drink.

You get out, we ainít waiting around
for your nasty ass,
Tiny warned,
shifting his eyes over at Jo
like a little boy wanting a gold star.

I got out anyway,  and sure enough
they drove off without me,
so I didnít have nothing else to do
but get drunk in that bar.

Next day Mama called me.
She wanted to know if I was all right.
Jo and Tiny and their kids
all got killed
two hours after they dropped me,
a drunk driver slamming into the truck
at a hundred miles an hour.

Copyright 2011,  Charles Rammelkamp

Charles Rammelkamp edits The Potomac.   A full-length collection of poems entitled Fusen Bakudan will be published by Time Being Books in 2012.

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