Indiana Candy Cake

Wed, 07/31/2013 - 14:19 -- harland



Indiana candy cake

is a recipe for diabetes

one preferred by far too many participants

of the Smith Family Shindig


My mother and I shuck

Uncle Herman’s green beans-

sarcastically praised for our departure

from California snobbery


Janine tells her son to slice the watermelon

and hands him a Coors Light

a quiet foreshadowing

of a life cut short


My Bigfoot cousins display freckled grins

chasing me around a swimming pool

I shriek and giggle

careful not to outrun them


G-dad claw-hammers the old banjo

joking with his brother

about life in the holler


the only one to attend college

he speaks of his childhood

humbly avoiding the topic of education


suspenders and crooked teeth

sweet tea and syrupy accents


children of Appalachia 

slaves to the company store


Harlan, Kentucky is more than my namesake

it’s the bluegrass in my red blood


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