Foot 3
By Larry Duncan

Hank Williams drives his truck into a tree.
The front fender carves a frayed
smile into the bark of the oak.
He can’t decide if it’s an omen
or the universe breeching
the veil to laugh in his face.
Either way, he has miles to go.

The engine’s running
but the front axil’s broke.
He can’t control
the way the wheels turn.
There’s no choice
but to continue the rest of the way
on foot, to leave the radio on
until the battery dies
and everything goes dark.

He knows the way to go,
down the epileptic rows of corn
turned blue by the moon
to the crossroads of stars
and white lightning
where Robert Johnson waits
with a handful of brick-dust
and a silver plated revolver
to put a bullet in his head.

But there’s a pint of mash
in the glove compartment
and a symphony of cicada
and whippoorwills
to keep the cadence
in his heart clean.
Each stride across the dark assuring,
this will all make a beautiful song someday.

Previously appeared in Black Heart Magazine.

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