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Our '59 Mercury had a blowout between Sikeston and Morehouse on US Highway 60.

"Pa, what's President Johnson mean by civil rights?

pa had done cussed
the bald right rear tire
on the mercury
whitewall sidewall
scattered
all over the road
rim was hot
from skiddin' road
sun cast mirages
like lakes
down the road
pa pushed his fedora
up off his forehead
got us a sodie
from the cooler
salted shelled goobers
from the glovebox
poured goobers
in the pepsi
leaned on the mercury
drank sodie
ate soaked goobers
heard singin'
out in the cotton patch
colored hands
draggin' cottonsacks
down the rows
swing low sweet chariot
echoed across the field
bent backs
bare feet
(mine was bare too, danced on road shoulder)
they're all pickin'
cotton
sharecroppin'
their way to riches
bolls prick fingers
raw
little 'uns ride
the sacks
throw dirt clods
at each other
comim' for to carry me home
cotton shantytown shacks
across the highway
I smell greens a cookin'
in bacon fat
on the wind
old black grannies stooped
over
hands vacuum cotton
pa pulls slick spare
out of trunk
jacks rearend up
loosens lugs
slips slick on
whitewall's cracked
pa says it'll
git us home
colored boy takes
a full cottonsack
to the wagon
half a quarter away
looks like me
'cept he's black
got a smile
on his face
whistlin'
between
smiles
drippin' sweat
pa throws the rim
and jack in the trunk
says
lets go
I wave at the colored boy
waves back
I look over jordon
what did I see
melody trailin'
behind us
pa heads us
toward the hills
says,
"William, civil rights is the right for those folks to be just as poor as us."

(Slick blew out in our driveway)


(from the Hillbilly Chronicles)
of William Hill


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Comments

The following comments are for "Cottonsacks and Spare Tires"
by williamhill

Civil rights
Just as poor as us... What a pefect line. It say's it all doesn't it? Just think if that tire didn't blow out you would have missed everything you captured so well about that day. I almost felt like I too was dancing barefoot on the shoulder of hwy 60. Thanks for the smile, Tara

( Posted by: TB51 [Member] On: September 26, 2004 )

This...
Took me back to the mid fifties, ridin with gramps back to Iowa and a funeral...

A week later we were still visitin his friends and relatives... All as poor as we were...

Money isn't everything it's made out to be...

Your chronicles certainly expound the truth of that...

Too bad everyone can't experience this real life... and it's satisfaction...

Even if they is cursed later in life... to have everything they need...

( Posted by: daprdan [Member] On: September 26, 2004 )

Yes! Windchime, Tonight
I have one comin' up. Hope you enjoy.
charlie

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: September 26, 2004 )





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