So I get a phone call the other day
from a number I don’t recognize.
I picked it up by mistake, I usually
let it go to the machine. It was Heather.
She said she was calling for Garrison Keillor.
I said, “Who?” She said, “You don’t know
Garrison Keillor?” in that voice that
rises on every-other-word. I said
“would I say who if I did?”
She explained that they have this
radio program, “millions listen”
something about the prairie.
I said, I live in New York
that I prefer the ocean. I said
“The prairie is just so empty.”
She said, “Never mind.” Said they
saw my poem online, want to read
it on the radio. I said, “which one?”
She said, “The one about
the trailer park.” I said, “Oh, that one.
It’s not very good. I have others.”
She said they want the one about
the trailer park. I said, “No thanks.”
& hung up on Heather, just another
tel-a-marketer from Minnesota.
She didn’t like it when I said
something was “trailer park”:
buying canned beer by the case
red wine in gallon bottles
America’s Idol, the shopping channel
vegetables at Aldi’s (shrink-wrapped
cucumbers, tomatoes), flocks of
coupons, flyers in Sunday’s papers.
My excuse is: it’s only America
I didn’t plan it this way —
hell, I want that trailer park beauty
in hot pants, halter top stretched
marked tattooed titties to be
playing Beethoven on her stereo
steaming organic kale
sauteeing free-range chicken
for her children, saving money
for a Prius, her boyfriend working
3 jobs to buy that double-wide
next door, a real Xmas tree this year
&, if not a ring, at least the promise
whispered last night on new sheets.
**These were published in “2: an Anthology of Poets & Writers from the 2nd Sunday @ 2 Open Mic for Poetry & Prose” (Riverside Community Press, 2016),
Dan Wilcox is the host of the Third Thursday Poetry Night at the Social Justice Center in Albany, N.Y. and is a member of the poetry performance group “3 Guys from Albany”. As a photographer, he claims to have the world’s largest collection of photos of unknown poets. His book Gloucester Notes is available from FootHills Publishing.