Pledges  (Call and Response)

1. Drive

Herd the twelve out to the truck driver's abode
			We are called Otter, Beaver, Coyote
Pack of virgin boys, horny toads
			Shark, Penguin, Donkey
His wife will do us all for free
			Gator, Pit Bull, Cheetah
Her man ain't here, he's on the road
			Birdman, Panda, Monkey

2. House

Acre deep long dirt road swamp-edge marsh-back
No lights almost can't see nothing in the hollows
of froggy-bottom behind the shack

El Presidente, Animal, volunteers for firsties 
Tells us boys to wait in line
Opens the door a crack (I want to hide)
			Maybe we should leave
Grins and makes a vee sign, disappears inside
			None of us is clean

3. Swamp

Like a nightmare cracking, spitting gravel and smoke
he pulls the semi into the drive, blocking all exits, yells						
"Who's doing my woman?" fires the shotgun into the air
			What are we doing here

Ain't never run so fast, lickety-snicket into the bog
			Otter, Beaver, Coyote
the ferny fen, the plashy, logy slog
			Shark, Penguin, Donkey
We are mucked and mired, cut, barb-wired
			Gator, Pit Bull, Cheetah
wracked, winded, balls-out tired
			Birdman, Panda, Monkey

4. There and back

Tell me how we were scrounged from the morass
dumped at the dorm, not so feckless, victims of a joke
Was one of our brothers fired the shotgun
Was one of our brothers drove the truck 

	(First published in Veils - 2020)

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Shack in the Swamp

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