Down and Out in Idabel

Down and Out in Idabel

How Myron found himself in the parking lot

Of the Holiday Inn in Idabel, Oklahoma

Looking out at the road

On a Saturday morning in April

– after a breakfast of brittle bacon,

Sausages slick with grease,

Dry fluorescent scrambled eggs –

Is not important.

The road pauses, a skittish dog roams.

Myron’s eyes are drawn to a dead armadillo

Upside down on the hard shoulder

In its claws an empty beer can.

Old Milwaukee. Prehistoric drunk. Someone’s joke.

A pick up truck passes

A pick up truck passes

A pick up truck passes

Over the fence a cow chews grass

And makes a meal of it.

Dogwoods bloom.

The cow moos like a reluctant foghorn.

Myron’s mood turns

He thinks about the cow,

Manifest Destiny,

The plight of the bison

Our lust for red meat

While greenhouse gas

Shimmies upwards

Ice caps melt

Glaciers retreat

And looking down

The road to Shreveport

Buoyed by the prospect

Of seeing Idabel

In his rear-view mirror

He quietly resolves

To recover what he was

Before sadness lodged

Like a wet sack

In the back

Of his head.


This poem originally appeared in issue 38 of The SHOp poetry magazine which was a fine magazine, unfortunately they closed up shop last year.

Jim Feeney

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