The White Pickup Truck

Down a back road lined with

soy beans and dried up corn stalks,

he said I’ll make a country girl outta you yet

and let me borrow his old, white pickup truck.

I watched the sun glint off an abandoned fishhook

between the dashboard and windshield.

What was just another Saturday for me

was his first day called up for battle,

fighting the front lines against

the mass in his chest. I felt the weight

of the heat suddenly, as if the dusty tint

of his addiction sealed the windows shut.

I rolled them down manually, the

thick air moved around me and

the stack of crushed maps

the pair of dry socks

the tackle box

smelled different. The country song

on the radio sounded too sad,

like not even whiskey could make things

better. I just wanted to make him

feel better, stronger, healthier.

So I followed that back road

to a main road onto Route 66

and drove until the fishhook

stopped glowing white,

the soot on the windows disappeared,

and the country music sounded happy.

In June, I became a country girl.

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