Green Grapes

for granddaddy truck

Summer afternoons
you would take me for rides
down to McGee’s crossroads.
To the feed and seed
for supplies.
I could have
anything. Always

green grapes
and a Mountain Dew.
You would show me
how to pop the cap
on the opener
jutting out of the side
of the cooler.
We always took

the long way home,
past tobacco fields,
the slaughterhouse.
The smell
of hot dust
and sweetness, manure.
DDT warning signs
dotting the roadside.

Sandy soil
mixed with red clay,
the colors
of your aging hair.
You would drive slow
telling me
we will just keep
so you don't have to
share your grapes.

Hank Williams
on the radio,
sticky sunshine
on my lips.
You never minded that
I was born a girl
as we rounded
all of those
curves, counting
the warning signs.

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