When Bad Jamie’s Lortab runs out,
he wanders the back roads of the valley
and listens to the songs children play
in the shadows of their yards.
The children sit at the edges
of their unrailed porches
and pluck songs from their bare toes.
The smallest toe is the E string.
The big toe, the G.
Some children play like angels on harps
and others like a drunken barn dance,
a deep honky-tonk rhythm
that forces Bad Jamie to dance a few steps
even in his sober state.
Seems like its the most mean-ass kids
that play the sweetest, Bad Jamie muses,
But he steps quicker and turns away
when stern mamas step out on the porches
to tell their sons or daughters to hush that
and put on shoes.