poetry by D. A. Gray

Neatly, tin cans on wheels, aligned
in military style rank and file, each with its own
live oak tree, a picnic table, fire ring
and electrical hookups. A murmuring of voices
directed at no one. 
                           Couples, as the southern heat
starts to drop, bring lawn chairs out, sit on a bed
of well-worn grass, engage in American dreaming,
basking in the satisfaction of picking up their homes
and moving to the next plot of paradise,
leaving disappointments – and trash – behind.
A diet of baloney sandwiches, diet Pepsi,
a spring smell of diesel in the air,
and country radio, an upbeat song 
about tractors and girls, drowning out other songs
in the distance – and katydids – and birdsongs –
and the snapback of limbs where a doe
wandered into the clearing, then darted away.

A nearby couple sits silent, a cooler at their feet, 
together watching the sun disappear behind
a row of tin cans. Kings. Not bound to anything,
or anyone, from anytown.
                  There’s even a honey wagon
comes by at 6 am to haul the shit away.

D. A. Gray is the author of Contested Terrain (FutureCycle Press, 2017). His poems have appeared in The Sewanee Review, Still: The Journal, Collateral Journal and Wrath-Bearing Tree among others. He earned his MFA at the Sewanee School of Letters. A native Kentuckian and a retired soldier, Gray now teaches, writes and lives in Central Texas.

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