The Thunder What Heard Me

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The Thunder What Heard Me

I thought I heard the thunder,
but it was the thunder what heard me—

a deep steel clap like couplin’ trains loaded
pre-dawn and dark by stubbled men

wet with bottomland rain. Ain’t no hump yard
here, just a steamy flat yard full of freight,

engines shapin’ a consist for their mainline
date. I thought I felt the engine

shake, but it was the engine what felt me
up the alluvial plain and over-

baled with Delta-dogged weight. We got a long row
to hoe under the Devil’s flowered

sun before pulling Friday night
into a nuther re-couplin’ run. I thought

I saw the juke and smelled the woman sweat, but
it was the juke what seed me

and laid down a hammered beat like a winnin’
bet. I be troubled. I be

all worried in mind
, but it be the roilin’
muddy waters what rest

my stove-up legs and say to my drop-dead self,
Roll the resurrection stone

and raise what souls you can befo’ you
yo’self take sick and done be good and gone.

3 thoughts on “The Thunder What Heard Me

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