for Glen Vecchione
The Lord sits enthroned above the flood. “Psalm 29"
Lost in rural Georgia, we did Jesus
one better and drove on water,
churned up by mid-summer heat.
The Caddy shimmied in the curves
and fish-tailed down the straights,
past red clay archipelagoes
of tenant shacks and trailer-parks
rinsed opal in the shifting squalls.
We lunched on RC’s, Scooter Pies,
and watched the wipers skim
momentary half moon vistas
lush with peach and pecan groves
whipped by drenching scarves of wind
while gospel stations ghosted by
then crinkled into static shards,
and billboards asked if we were saved,
promised Hell if we were not.
As if on cue, trees bowed and flailed,
and deafening light ripped heaven wide,
but the hootchy-koo Savannah
kept low-country holy-rolling,
swinging through her tangled banks.
Shimmy, dear old Caddy, daddy’s car,
shake and roll, old rattling gospel–
the waters came, we skipped like calves
across the rich and sinful south.
Previously published in The Nebraska Review, 1995